Merlin

Eastern Screech-Owl Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    The Eastern Screech-Owl is a short, stocky bird, with a large head and almost no neck. Its wings are rounded; its tail is short and square. Pointed ear tufts are often raised, lending its head a distinctive silhouette.

    Relative Size

    A small owl, slightly larger and considerably bulkier than a European Starling.

    Relative Sizerobin sizedrobin-sized
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 6.3-9.8 in (16-25 cm)
      • Weight: 4.3-8.6 oz (121-244 g)
      • Wingspan: 18.9-24.0 in (48-61 cm)

Regional Differences

The “McCall’s” Eastern Screech-Owl (Asio otus mccallii), inhabits south-central Texas and parts of northern Mexico. It may prove to be a separate species, as it is always gray and never gives the “whinny” call. The two common color morphs, gray and rufous, represent individual variation and don’t vary consistently by region or subspecies.