Eastern Screech-Owl

Eastern Screech Owl: Pippin

Brought to Sharon Audubon Center: January 2, 2013

Sex: Female

Injury: Missing left eye 

History: See Artemis' history below

Eastern Screech Owl: Artemis

Brought to Sharon Audubon Center: January 26, 2013

Sex: Female

Injury: Right eye injury

History: Artemis, a red-phase Eastern Screech Owl, and Pippin, a gray-phase Eastern Screech Owl, came to Audubon Sharon in the same month with permanent eye injuries after being struck by a car. Artemis is blind in her right eye due to irreparable damage. Pippin lost her left eye completely due to the trauma of the impact. They reside together in the same aviary, and are often difficult to spot.

Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)

Average Height: 7 - 10 inches

Average Weight: 0.25 - 0.5 lbs (4 - 8 oz)

Wingspan1.5 - 2 feet

Life Span7 - 8 years in the wild, up to 17 years in captivity

Description: The Eastern Screech Owl is the smallest owl with feather tufts (ear tufts) in the Eastern United States. There are two different color phases, red and gray. The chest and belly are heavily barred. The female is generally larger than the male.

Call: The Eastern Screech Owl does not screech, but has a rather eerie, mournful whinny, which rises then falls down the scale.

Range: The Eastern Screech Owl covers the majority of the Eastern United States and extreme Southern Canada, from the Atlantic Coast west through the Plains, south to the Gulf of Mexico. The Western Screech Owl lives throughout the Pacific Coast east through the Rockies.

Habitat: Eastern Screech Owls are commonly spotted in small woodlots, swamps, and old orchards, but are also common in urban and suburban areas.

Diet: Hunting soon after dusk, the Eastern Screech Owl feeds extensively on insects, but also eats small rodents, small amphibians, and occasionally small birds.