Eastern Screech Owl: here’s the scoop


Screech owls are a generalist species, with unfussy eating and nesting habits, and it adjusts well to the presence of humans. In fact, suburban birds often survive better than their rural kin, as suburbs provide more prey, milder climates, and fewer predators.

Committed to Conservation

BPZOO is home to two screech owls, Watson and Sherlock. They are important members of the Zoo’s Animal Ambassador Program and currently live behind-the-scenes. You may see him out with educators for encounters, special events or school programs. The animal ambassadors at Buttonwood Park Zoo are working ambassadors of their species and of their wild counterparts.  They stimulate interest and appreciation, dispel myths and fears, reconnect visitors with the natural world and stir all those they encounter to action.


Eastern Screech Owl

Scientific name

Megascops asio


Common in most types of woods, particularly near water. Not likely to be found in treeless expanses of mountains or plains. Tree cavities or nest boxes are essential.


Small mammals and birds, as well as insects, amphibians and invertebrates.

life expectancy

12 – 14 years

Did you know?

Like most raptors, male eastern screech owls are smaller than females, and are more agile fliers and hunters. The female doesn’t hunt while on the nest, but relies on the male to bring them food.


Eastern half of the United States into northeastern Mexico

Conservation status

Least Concern

Widespread and abundant