Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)

Alfie joined our sanctuary’s ambassador team in 2016 after being found close to death next to a dumpster and missing his left eye. After the veterinary team at the Wildlife Center of Virginia determined Alfie lacked stamina and proper flight maneuverability, it was determined he would be well-suited to living in captivity.

Eastern screech owls like Alfie are among the smallest birds of prey. They weigh in at just over one pound, in most cases. Screech owls will do whatever they can to make themselves look much bigger and more intimidating, though, including puffing their feathers out and putting up tufts that many people think are their ears. It’s just an act! Alfie’s missing eye likely would not impact his hunting abilities because owls hunt near-exclusively through their excellent sense of hearing. In fact, their ears are asymmetrically positioned on either side of their head to increase the scope of their hearing.
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