They also hunt small mammals, small birds and sometimes small fish, small snakes, lizards, baby soft-shelled turtles, small frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders. Eggs are laid at two-day intervals and incubation begins after laying of the first egg. They hunt from dusk to dawn, with most hunting being done during the first four hours of darkness. They usually feed on earthworms, crayfish and insects. Eastern Screech-Owls nest in tree cavities, either naturally formed or old woodpecker holes. ABC's Bird-Smart Glass program offers a number of solutions to protect these little owls. They frequently call at night, especially during their spring breeding season. This muffles the noise the bird makes when it flaps its wings, enabling it to sneak up on prey quietly. They eat many kinds of mammals, including rats, mice, squirrels, moles, and rabbits. Collisions with cars, trains, and windowpanes kill many Eastern screech owls, the earlier especially while feeding on road-side rodents and road kills. Despite their name, these owls do not truly screech. Male and female plumages are alike, but as in many other birds of prey, including the Flammulated Owl and Cooper's Hawk, the female is larger. When owlets are small, the female tears the food apart for them. For example the Eastern Screech owls eat beetles and crayfish along with mice, voles, shrews and birds while the smallest owl, Elf Owl, eat beetles, moths, centipedes, crickets and scorpions. These owls mate for life, although they will seek a new mate if one disappears. These owls are strictly nocturnal, roosting during the day in cavities or next to tree trunks. Both males and females vocalize, although males tend to be more noisy. The bird's ears (as opposed to its ear tufts) are placed asymmetrically on its head, enabling it to use the differences between each ear's perception of sound to home in on prey. The Eastern Screech-Owl's varied diet includes small birds and mammals, reptiles, insects, crayfish, and earthworms. They feed on insects, crayfish, snails, spiders, earthworms, scorpions, leeches, millipedes, and centipedes. Eastern Screech-Owls are permanent residents in a wide variety of habitats, particularly wooded suburban neighborhoods and parks, riparian areas, orchards, and woodlands near marshes, meadows, and fields. Help us get results. These birds breed in April and pairs often return to the same nest year after year. They will also use nest boxes and may even nest behind loose boards on abandoned buildings or barns. The male provides most of the food while the female primarily broods the young. These owls hunt mainly from perches, dropping down onto prey. During nesting, the male brings food while the female broods the eggs and young; like the male Northern Saw-whet Owl, it often caches several days' worth of food for the nestlings. Occasionally, they also hunt by scanning through the treetops in brief flights or hover to catch prey. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing. Although widespread, this nocturnal bird, like the Barn Owl and Eastern Whip-poor-will, often goes unseen and is best detected by its vocalizations. (Scroll down to hear its voice.). They also produce a monotone purring trill lasting 3-5 seconds. The eastern screech owl diet is made up of more than 138 different kinds of invertebrate species. They feed on insects, crayfish, snails, spiders, earthworms, scorpions, leeches, millipedes, and centipedes. Diet of the Screech Owl These small birds prey on virtually anything they are able to capture. Females do most of the incubating and brooding, but males also occasionally take shifts. By December 31, 2018, ABC wants to raise $1 million for bird conservation. A courting male approaches a female while calling, then bobs and swivels his head and entire body, even slowly winking his eyes as part of this performance. Small prey usually is swallowed whole on the spot, while larger prey is carried in the bill to a perch and then torn into pieces. Screech-owls that nest in suburbs and orchards are vulnerable to pesticides, and like so many other birds, they are affected by habitat loss. Despite being relatively common within their range, Eastern screech owls suffer from deforestation, poisoning which causes the thinning of eggs and failure of nests, and especially predation by Virginia opossums, American minks, weasels, raccoons, ringtails, skunks, snakes, crows, and blue jays. Due to their small size and camouflage, Eastern screech owls are much more frequently heard than actually seen.
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