The screech owl: Its life history and population ecology in northern Ohio

North American Fauna 71
By:  and 



The screech owl (Otus asio) is native to North America and breeds throughout the United States and in portions of Canada and Mexico. It is a small owl, 20 cm (8 in) in length from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail, with a wing span of 56 cm (22 in); it has yellow eyes and prominent ear tufts (see Frontispiece). Although the species is common throughout much of North America, it has not been studied intensively, particularly over a long period. The published literature is concerned mostly with food habits, color phase, taxonomy, and miscellaneous observations. Breeding biology and population dynamics have received little attention.

This report presents the basic life history and population information about screech owls in northern Ohio over a 30-yr period. The owls studied were nesting in boxes (Fig. 1) established for wood ducks (Aix sponsa) along rivers, creeks, and marshes in a four-county area (Ottawa, Sandusky, Wood, and Lucas Counties) near Lake Erie (Fig. 2). No special trapping techniques were required as the screech owls readily used these nesting boxes and could be easily captured while in them. More than 3,000 owls were captured and banded; 500 were recaptured after the initial banding, some 10 or 15 times. This process provided a large quanity of basic information for this report.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title The screech owl: Its life history and population ecology in northern Ohio
Series title North American Fauna
Series number 71
Year Published 1975
Language English
Publisher U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Description v, 65 p.
Country United States
State Ohio
County Lucas County, Ottawa County, Sandusky County, Wood County
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