Deep Dive: Eastern and Western Screech Owls

Deep Dive: Eastern and Western Screech Owls


Screech owls consist of about 25 species of owls within the Strigidae family. They tend to be small, with tufts and coloring that has a pattern similar to tree bark so it’s easy to camouflage.1 Let’s take a look at two species of screech owl: the Eastern Screech Owl and the Western Screech Owl.

 

Eastern Screech Owls

Eastern Screech Owls are roughly the size of a robin. They like to hang out in wooded areas, but can be found in urban areas that have parks with trees available.2 The Eastern Screech Owl is also known as the Common Screech Owl and is one of the most common screech owl species.1

 

They are found in the eastern regions of North America and don’t really move around all that much. They’ll usually stay within their range year-round. They like to eat insects like moths, crickets, and beetles, and small animals like shrews, bats, lizards, and frogs.2

 

Western Screech Owls 

Western Screech Owls are slightly larger than Eastern Screech Owls. They stand about 9 inches tall, with a wingspan of 20 inches. They’re found in the western region of North America from Alaska to Canada, down to Mexico, and further into Central America.3

 

They love evergreen forests, scrublands, deserts, and urban areas. They’re excellent at camouflaging because they have a dark grayish-brown coloring to help them blend in with their surroundings. When they hunt, they’ll do it at dusk or dawn and they’ll go after scorpions, birds, and reptiles.3

 

Want to keep learning about Screech Owls? Check out our poster here!


 
Sources: 
  1. https://www.britannica.com/animal/screech-owl

  2. https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/eastern-screech-owl

  3. https://www.peregrinefund.org/explore-raptors-species/owls/western-screech-owl



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