Range. - North America, east of the plains and from the southern British Provinces to Florida.
This well known species, which is often called "Little Horned Owl" because of its ear tufts is found either in the type form of some of its varieties in all parts of the United States. They have two color phases, the plumage being either a yellowish brown or gray, and black and white; these color phases are not dependent upon sex or locality, as often young or both phases are found in the same nest; the gray phase is the most abundant. They nest anywhere in hollow trees, being found very frequently in decayed stubs of apple trees. They also often nest in barns or other old buildings which are not frequented too freely. Their food consists chiefly of mice and meadow moles, with occasionally small birds. During April or May they lay their white eggs, the full complement of which is from five to eight. Size 1.35 x 1.20. The nesting habits of all the sub-species, as far as we can learn, are exactly like those of the eastern Screech Owl; the eggs cannot be distinguished, and in most cases, even the birds cannot be distinguished.
YOUNG SCREECH OWLS.
Range. - South Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Slightly smaller and darker than asio. The eggs average slightly smaller. Size 1.30 x 1.15.
Range. - Texas, and southward into Mexico. Very similar to floridanus.
Range. - Coast of California and Oregon. Size of, but darker than asio.
Range. - Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska. This is the darkest of the Screech Owls and averages a trifle larger than the eastern form.
Range. - Foothills of the Rockies, from Colorado to Montana. This is the palest form of the Screech Owl. Of the same size as the last.
Range. - Western Mexico and southwestern border of the United States. A gray form with little or no buff, and more numerously barred below.
37Sg. Aiken's Screech Owl. Otus asio aikeni.
Range. - El Paso County, Colorado. A gray form, with the dark markings coarser and more numerous than in any other.
Range. - Northern border of the United States from Washington to Montana.
Range. - Mountains of southern Arizona, south into Mexico.
A grayish species, similar to asio, but paler and more finely barred beneath, and with whitish spots on the feathers of the foreback. The nesting habits and eggs are probably the same as those of the Screech Owl.
Range. - Southern Lower California.
A grayish species with the back and underparts finely vermiculated with reddish brown, and with streaks of darker. It is not likely that the habits or eggs of this species will be found to differ from those of the Screech Owl.