Are eastern screech owls nocturnal?

The highly migratory nature of this cosmopolitan bird suggests that nearly any habitat in the world will meet its needs. It is essential to have tree cavities or nest boxes, and preference is given to open understories, but eastern screech-owls successfully live and breed in farmland, in suburban landscapes and city parks. The Eastern Screech-Owl lives in sparsely wooded terrain along rivers and streams in the Great Plains. The screech-owl does not survive well when all the trees are removed, but can often recolonize well when trees are replanted, especially if nesting boxes are provided as well.

Eastern Screech-Owls primarily eat small animals such as birds, mammals, and insects. They also eat invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and other animals. Many forms of rodents are eaten, including rodents, rats, hedgehogs, caterpillars, and rabbits. Flycatchers, swallows, thrushes, waxwings, and finches are among the small birds taken as prey, as well as bigger groups such as jays, pheasant, pigeons, sea birds, and woodpeckers. This owl is quick enough to feed on bats sometimes, and can less often be carnivorous at all when the supply of food is abundant, Eastern Screech-Owls store food in tree holes for up to four days at a time.

Eastern Screech-Owls are cavity nesters but do not dig their own nest(s). They depend on animal holes opened or enlarged by woodpeckers, rotting wood, fungi or other means. They also colonize woodpecker nest holes that are empty. Eastern Screech-Owls would be willing to nest on woodpiles, or boxes, or crates that you have left on the ground.

Eastern Screech-Owls don't make any nests. The female puts her eggs in twigs, piles of wood cuttings, and the excrement of the previous year's nest. She settles into place in the nest where her eggs lie.

Due to their nocturnal nature, Eastern Screech-Owl counts are hard to estimate. The  North American Breeding Bird Survey data indicate population increases in Canada but decreases in the U.S. over the last half-decade. According to Partners in Flight, there are as many as 1 million owls with 95 per cent living in the U.S. and 4 per cent in Mexico. On the Continental Concern Ranking, the species is scored 10 out of 20. Eastern Screech-Owl is not included in the 2016 Birds Watch List of North America. This owl is a generalist that adapts well to human activity, and its behaviours of hunting and nesting are common. In reality, as suburbs have more food, relatively mild temperatures, and fewer predators, suburban birds sometimes survive better than their rural clan. The Eastern Screech-Owl needs tall trees for nesting in, or at least nest boxes and brushy cover, but its small size, regional tolerance, and widely varied diet make it a good survivor.

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