Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)
In 2007, this Eastern Screech Owl suffered an impact injury that broke his upper beak (creating a misalignment) and affected his vision in both eyes. He was in adult plumage when injured so we don’t know his age. He became a part of the RMRP educational program in 2009 when he was transferred to RMRP from Auburn Alabama University's Raptor Center. Coming from the more humid south-east explains his unique red coloring, which would blend in well with the color of tree bark found in that area of the country. The Eastern Screech Owls found in Colorado are a generally grey/ brown color, which allows them to blend in with the color of the local tree bark.
As an educational bird, this Eastern Screech Owl goes to programs and exhibits to help represent the many shapes and sizes that birds of prey can come in. Never forget that big things often come in small packages.
Eastern Screech owls are small, stocky owls with short tails and broad wings. This owl can either be of a grey morph or a rusty red morph. They’re found mainly in deciduous forests but have adapted reasonably well to urban environments. They roost in large trees with natural cavities, in woodpecker
excavations or behind loose boards on buildings. Eastern screeches are permanent residents for the most part; some of the northern-most birds will migrate south for the winter.
Eastern screech owls are nocturnal hunters, active at night or near dusk. They hunt small mammals such as rats, mice and shrews, insects, small fish and small birds, especially songbirds. They usually swallow their meal whole, or carry larger prey to a perch and then tear it into pieces.