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How to Tell the Gender of a Screech Owl

By Amanda Williams

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Screech owls live in habitats such as woodlands, swamps, forests and river valleys. These birds nest in abandoned animal-made tree holes or natural tree cavities, coming out at dusk to hunt for small mammals, insects and other birds. Examine a screech owl's appearance and behavior to identify the raptor's gender.

Physical Differences

According to the Science Museum of Minnesota, telling male birds apart from female birds is typically as simple as identifying feather color differences. Males are often brighter than females. However, screech owl feather color is no indication of gender. Size is a noticeable difference between male and female screech owls. According to the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy website, females are 9.2 inches tall on average and weigh 7.3 ounces. Males grow to 8.2 inches tall and weigh approximately 7.0 ounces. Females also have larger wingspans of 22 inches; males' wingspans are 21 inches.

Behavioral Differences

Male and female screech owls form permanent bonds together for reproduction. Female birds lay between two and eight eggs per clutch. Females do the majority of incubating, while males are responsible for hunting and bringing back food for his mate and her offspring.

Photo Credits

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Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician.