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Eastern Screech-Owl


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

If a mysterious trill catches your attention in the night, bear in mind the spooky sound may come from an owl no bigger than a pint glass. Common east of the Rockies in woods, suburbs, and parks, the Eastern Screech-Owl is found wherever trees are, and they’re even willing to nest in backyard nest boxes. These supremely camouflaged birds hide out in nooks and tree crannies through the day, so train your ears and listen for them at night.

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Backyard Tips

Eastern Screech-Owls readily accept nesting boxes, so the placement of such boxes may attract them to your yard. Our NestWatch project has information about nest boxes and instructions on how to build one the right size for a screech-owl. These owls also use birdbaths and will visit them to drink and bathe.

Find This Bird

Listen in wooded areas at night for the trills and whinnies of this vocal owl. Your best chance of seeing an Eastern Screech-Owl may be to listen for the excited voices of songbirds mobbing an owl they have found. You can also look closely at tree cavities and nest boxes; especially on cold sunny days, you may see the owl sunning sleepily in the entrance.