Eastern Screech-owl

Otus asio

Animals of North America Back
Screech-owls rarely screech and do so only when defending their nests from predators.  More common calls include a trilling song, sometimes known as the bounce song, which is used by members of a pair or a family to keep in contact. The male will trill to advertise a nest site, court the female, and when arriving at a nest with food. A descending whinny is used in territory defense. The songs usually are uttered separately, but sometimes are heard together.

Eastern screech-owls come in two color phase; the red (rufous) and the gray, with about one-third of all individuals being red. Rufous owls are more common in the East, with fewer than 15% red at the western edge of the range. No red owls are known from southern Texas, although they occur further north in Texas and further south in Mexico. Intermediate brownish individuals also occur in most populations.


Insects, crayfish, earthworms, songbirds and rodents

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