Eastern Screech-Owl

Megascops asio

Eastern Screech-Owls are nonmigratory, and live east of the Rocky Mountains in North America. There are two color forms for these birds, called morphs. There is a gray morph and a red morph. Observers believe the color has little to do with subspecies variation than with adaptation to their surroundings. The gray color is helpful to avoid detection in pine trees, while the red benefits them in deciduous woods.

Five subspecies are listed, but the jury may still render a different decision about these classifications. M. a. asio lives in Minnesota, southern Quebec, New England and south through Missouri, Tennessee and South Carolina. M. a. maxwelliae lives in the southern prairie provinces of Canada and south through Kansas and Colorado. M. a. hasbroucki lives in Oklahoma, southern Kansas and central Texas. M. a. mccallii is endemic to south Texas and some researchers believe one day it will gain full species status. M. a. floridanus lives in south Georgia, Florida, and other Gulf coast states to the Mississippi River.

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