Last Updated on October 13, 2022 by Guillermina
When it comes to owls, there are two main kinds: Eastern Vs Western Owls. While they share some similarities, there are also some big differences between the two. And usually, in trying to ID these owl species, location is the safe bet.
However, in this post, we’ll take a closer look – literally – at Eastern Vs Western Owls and learn to tell them apart. And if you’re feeling up to getting an owl for yourself, you can decide which is the right kind for you.
What Are The Differences Between Eastern And Western Owls?
This is one question many birders find difficult to answer. Or better still, they find it difficult to communicate the answer verbally. Because how do you accurately describe the screech of either owl species?
If you’re asking the question: what are the differences between Eastern Vs Western Owls, you’ve come to the right article. Here, we’re going to break it down for you. Some of the most noticeable differences are in their appearance.
Eastern owls tend to be smaller than western owls, with shorter tails and legs. They also have more rounded heads, while western owls have more pointed ones. But then, when it comes to these two types of owls, size isn’t the only difference.
Eastern owls also tend to have more colorful plumage, while western owls are usually more brown and gray. Another thing to note is that eastern owls have bigger eyes than their western counterparts.
Eastern owls have a prominent facial disk, which is used to help funnel sounds into their ears. So, the next time you see an owl, pay attention to its features.
Apart from the distinct physical features, there are also some behavioral differences between Eastern Vs Western Owls. Eastern owls are more likely to be active during the day, while western owls are more nocturnal.
The eastern species sleep during the day and then, hunt at night. While eastern owls are more social, western owls are more solitary. Not a surprise there, seeing as they prefer the dark.
Eastern owls are considered to be more aggressive than western owls. And so, while the former is better at hunting in the dark, the latter are more likely to scavenge for food.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! When it comes to owl diversity, there’s a lot to learn. So keep reading, and you could soon pass for an expert on the subject of owls.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between Owls?
You’re probably looking forward to being able to ID Eastern Vs Western Owls when next you see an owl. Here are a few other things to look for when trying to identify an owl:
- The shape of their beak
- The color of their face
The face of the eastern owl is darker in color and the eyes are yellow, while the face of the western owl is lighter in color with brown eyes.
- The color of their feathers
- The patterns on their feathers
- The presence of ear tufts
These feathers that stick up on top of the head of an owl are only present in eastern owls but absent in western owls. So if you see an owl and you’re not sure which one it is, try checking to see if it has ear tufts.
- The way they fly
If you can’t tell which owl you’re looking at based on these physical characteristics, don’t worry. There are other ways to tell them apart, like by their call, or what is also called screech.
What Owl Has the Loudest Screech?
So what owl has the loudest screech? Believe it or not, it’s the western owl. It’s got a pretty distinctive call, and once you hear it, you’ll never forget it.
Interestingly, the louder an owl’s call is, the more likely it is to attract a mate. So the western owl’s loud screech is an evolutionary advantage.
If you’re ever out in the woods and you hear a loud, piercing screech, it’s likely a Western Owl. But don’t worry, they’re not dangerous to humans. They’re quite shy around people.
The Eastern Owl is a little more subtle in its approach. It’s more likely to use its call to communicate with other owls than to scare off predators.
What Is the Most Common Owl?
The most common owl is the Eastern Owl. You can find them all across the eastern United States and parts of Canada.
These owls are mostly gray or brown, with white spots on their chests. They’re around 14 inches tall and have a wingspan of about 40 inches.
The eastern owl is a great choice for those who want to get into bird watching because they’re relatively easy to spot. And they are also pretty cool animals—they can rotate their heads nearly 360 degrees!
What Is the Most Powerful Owl?
So, what’s the deal with Eastern Vs Western Owls? What is the most powerful owl? As already mentioned, eastern owls are usually a lot smaller than their western counterparts. It’s likely the reason they don’t have quite as big of a hunting range as the western owl.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not effective predators. Eastern owls are incredibly smart and have a great sense of hearing, which allows them to take down prey even in low-light conditions.
Eastern owls are also very adaptable, which means they can thrive in different environments. So, what is the most powerful owl? Well, that’s a tough question to answer. They’re both pretty powerful creatures in their own right.
Related article: Interesting Fact: Do Owls Eat Hawks?
Conclusion On Eastern Vs Western Owls
So, Eastern Vs Western Owls. We’ve tried to make the differences as plain as possible.
Apart from location, which is the easiest part, certain key differences in their features have been pointed out: size, coloring, plumage, shape of the head, the shape of the beak, and the presence or absence of ear tufts.
If you happen to stay a while longer where they are and hear their screeches, you should be able to identify which screech belongs to which owl kind. Kindly share your experience identifying an owl in the comments section below.