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Eastern Screech-Owl
A Reference for North and Central American Owls

 The Eastern Screech-Owl is a very common resident in much of its range. In North America it is found in both red and gray color morphs. Here you will find photos, recordings and a brief field notes section to help identify and enjoy this beautiful owl. To jump immediately to any of these sections use the Page Jump Links below.

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Photo Gallery
Additional photos
Audio Recordings
Field Notes and Range Map


Click on the thumbnail to bring up each of the Owl photos.

Eastern Screech-Owl Photo


Eastern Screech-Owl Photo


Eastern Screech-Owl Photo


Lake Keystone
Pawnee Co., Oklahoma
November, 2010

Bentsen Rio Grande Valley
State Park, Texas
March, 2010
Campus of Vanier College
 St. Laurent, Quebec
May 2000

Eastern Screech-Owl Photo


Eastern Screech-Owl Photo


Eastern Screech-Owl Photo


Salt Plains N.W.R.,
Alfalfa Co., Oklahoma

March, 2000

Salt Plains N.W.R.,
Alfalfa Co., Oklahoma

April 1999
Beavers Bend State Park,
 McCurtain Co., Oklahoma

May 1998

Additional Photos

Photo 1

Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4

Click on the sonogram to bring up the recording.

Sound File
Eastern Colorado
June 1999

 This has both the "whinny" and "monotone trill" calls. These are the primary calls of the Eastern Screech. The "whinny" is often associated with nesting birds and the trill with winter birds.

FIELD NOTES and Range Map
Eastern Screech-Owl -
Megascops (Otus) asio

 Separation in the field, of the Screech-Owls, is actually only feasible by voice. The Eastern Screech-Owl can be distinguished with its primary "bouncing" (mating) call or "whinny" (regular) call. This is a common owl in the east. The sexes are alike in appearance although male and female can be distinguished by voice. Although visual distinctions are not conclusive to identification with the screech-owls, the Eastern Screech tend to have slightly longer ear tufts than the Western Screech-Owls and never a black bill. Eastern Screech-Owls are believed to be sedentary and there is no evidence of any migratory (or winter) movements. Eastern Screech-Owls have both gray and brown phase birds. The bill is a pale grayish green to greenish blue and its eyes (iris) yellow. Length is 8 1/2" (about the size of a Red-winged Blackbird). A nocturnal owl.

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