Raptor spotlight: Warner
The Raptor Center
Warner the Eastern Screech Owl

Name: Warner

Age: Unknown

Sex: Male

Species: Eastern screech owl (Megascops asio)

Species nickname: Screech owl, Screech

Taxa: Order Strigiformes, family Strigidae, genus Megascops

Size: Small owls, eastern screech owls weigh an average of 5-7 ounces (140-200 grams) and are 6-10 inches (16-25 centimeters) in height. While small, they are one of the largest screech owl species.

Diet: Eastern screech owls have a varied diet and will catch whatever is available to them. Some prey items include small rodents, small birds, insects, reptiles, and the occasional bat.

Average lifespan: In the wild, the known record is 14 years old. In captivity, they can live longer and have been known to live for over 20 years.

Migratory pattern: Found throughout all of the eastern United States and into parts of southern Canada, eastern screech owls do not migrate. Individuals in the far north may wander some during the colder months but not in any true migratory way.

Nesting: Cavity nesters, eastern screech owls often use holes or snags in dead trees to build nests and raise their young. They lay a clutch of 3-5 eggs each season starting in March that then hatch in April. The young typically leave their nests in May. Every year, we hear of trees with owls nesting in their cavities being cut down so be extra vigilant for these well-camouflaged owls before doing any tree work.