Eastern Screech Owl


Eastern screech-owls have acute senses of hearing and vision which help them to locate prey in dim light. They use a variety of vocalizations to communicate. Nestlings and females call softly from within the nest cavity. Both males and females give the “trill” song, which may be used to advertise nest sites, in courting, when arriving at the nest with food, and to call nestlings out of the nest for fledging. Other calls are hoots, rasps, chuckle-rattles, barks, and screeches. Eastern screech-owls eat the most varied diet of any North American owl. Their diet includes large evening active insects, like moths and katydids, crayfish, earthworms, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, like mice and bats, and small birds. Eastern screech-owls are sometimes the most abundant and important small predator in urban and suburban forested areas.

Click HERE for an Eastern Screech Owl Activity Sheet!

Our Current Resident

Scout, Male – Hatched 2013-2014 (estimate)

Scout, or sometimes called Scoot, suffered head trauma and damaged his left eye from a vehicle collision. Scout rehabilitated at the Montana Raptor Center before coming to ZooMontana in 2015. In 2020 Scout's behavior was different and his appetite had decreased. After being looked over by a veterinarian, it was determined his damaged eye was causing him pain. He then underwent surgery to remove the eye and since then he's been back to his healthy self.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Genus: Otus
  • Species: Otus asio

Animal Facts

  • Carnivore: eats small mammals, reptiles, and other vertebrates and invertebrates
  • Population: stable
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Nocturnal: active during the night

Our Animals