Screech owls live across most of North, Central and South America, except the interior portions of Canada, some mountainous areas and the arid portions of Mexico. Screech owls inhabit a wide range of habitats, including forests, swamps, fields and residential areas. However, screech owls normally move into open areas to feed.
While they all share a number of similarities, scientists divide screech owls into a number of different species, based on their geographic range. Screech owls are cavity nesters, who must find tree hollows or similar locations to construct nests, and raise their offspring. Screech owls are very common in suburban areas, where they feed on the numerous insects. Seeking the birds’ pest control services, many homeowners place screech owl nesting boxes on their properties.
Screech owls are one of the smallest owl species in the world. Standing only 7 to 10 inches tall, these diminutive birds are able to sustain themselves in relatively small territories. This enables the owls to reach high densities in some locations.
Screech owls primarily feed on insects, but they will also eat small birds, rodents, reptiles and amphibians. Because they are so small, screech owls are hunted by other birds of prey, including great horned owls and hawks.