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Red phase Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)   New York | by avicentric
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Red phase Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) New York

The Eastern Screech Owl is a small, nocturnal, woodland Owl. There are two colour morphs, a gray phase and a reddish-brown phase; formerly genus 'Otus'.


Habitat: Eastern Screech Owls inhabit open mixed woodlands, deciduous forests, parklands, wooded suburban areas, riparian woods along streams and wetlands (especially in drier areas), mature orchards, and woodlands near marshes, meadows, and fields. They will avoid dense forests because Great Horned Owls use that habitat. They will also avoid high elevation forests. Eastern Screech Owls roost mainly in natural cavities in large trees, including cavities open to the sky during dry weather. In suburban and rural areas they may roost behind loose boards on buildings, boxcars, or water tanks. They will also roost in dense foliage of trees, usually on a branch next to the trunk, or in dense scrubby brush.


Distribution: East North America from East Montana and the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, South to Tamaulipas in Northeast Mexico. Also South Ontario to Florida.



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Taken on December 21, 2008