Eastern Screech Owl: Megascops asio

The Eastern Screech Owl is a small, tufted owl named after its shrill, plaintive voice sounding like quavering whistles with a long single trill. They can also sound like a horse whinnying. This owl occurs in two distinct color phases: red and gray. It nests in hollowed-out tree cavities or old woodpecker holes as well as man-made nest boxes. The Eastern Screech has big, bright, yellow eyes. These owls remain in New England all year round.

HABITAT: Woodlots, forests, swamps, orchards, parks.
FOOD: Wide variety of prey including small rodents, snakes and fish. They have also been known to take squirrels.



Looking like a small stack of leaves with a mixture of red, browns and grays, Tansy was found on the side of the road in Connecticut in 2012.

A woman drove by and then double-backed to discover this unusually colored Eastern Screech Owl. One eye was severely damaged, possibly from having been hit by a car. She also appeared to have experienced some head trauma and was taken to Horizon Wings in Ashford, Connecticut for rehabilitation.

Tansy eventually recuperated, however her limited vision keeps her from being released back to the wild. Horizon Wings transferred this beautiful little owl to us for environmental education programs. Tansy means “eternal life”.

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