screech owl


screech owl
1. any of numerous small American owls of the genus Otus, having hornlike tufts of feathers, as O. asio, of eastern North America.
2. (not in technical use) any owl having a harsh cry, esp. the barn owl. Also, screech-owl.
[1585-95]

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Any of numerous owls of the genus Otus (family Strigidae).

Both New World species and Old World species (called scops owls) have a facial disk and ear tufts. In spite of their name, they do not in fact screech. Their colouring resembles tree bark, and they are 8–12 in. (20–30 cm) long. They eat mostly small mammals, birds, and insects. Notable species are the common screech owl (O. asio) of North America, the flammulated owl (O. flammeolus) of western North America, and the common scops owl (O. scops) of southern Europe, Asia, and Africa.

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bird
      any of numerous New World owls of the genus Otus, typical owls of the family Strigidae. Old World species of Otus are known as scops owls. Members of both groups possess a facial disk and ear tufts. Coloured in a concealing bark pattern, they are rather small owls, about 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches) long. Many show considerable geographic variation; the northern races are larger but less heavily patterned than the southern races. Distributed almost worldwide, notable members of the genus are the common scops owl (Otus scops) of southern Europe, Asia, and Africa; the common screech owl (O. asio) of North America; and the flammulated owl (O. flammeolus) of western North America. They eat mostly small mammals, birds, and insects.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • screech owl — screech′ owl n. orn any of several small New World owls of the genus Otus, having hornlike tufts of feathers, as O. asio, of E North America …   From formal English to slang

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  • screech owl — noun 1. any owl that has a screeching cry • Hypernyms: ↑owl, ↑bird of Minerva, ↑bird of night, ↑hooter 2. small North American owl having hornlike tufts of feathers whose call sounds like a quavering whistle • Syn: ↑Otus asio …   Useful english dictionary

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  • screech owl — /ˈskritʃ aʊl/ (say skreech owl) noun any owl with a harsh cry, as the barn owl, Tyto alba, or many members of the genus Otus (distinguished from hoot owl) …   Australian English dictionary

  • screech owl — noun a) A North American owl belonging to the Megascops genus. b) the barn owl, Tyto alba …   Wiktionary

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