Adults range from 16 to 25 cm (6. 3 to 9. 8 in) in length and weigh 121–244 g (4. 3–8. 6 oz). Among the differently sized races, length can average from 19. 5 to 23. 8 cm (7. 7 to 9. 4 in). The wingspan can range from 46 to 61 cm (18 to 24 in). In Ohio, male owls average 166 g (5. 9 oz) and females 194 g (6. 8 oz) while in central Texas, they average 157 g (5. 5 oz) and 185 g (6. 5 oz), respectively. They have either rusty or dark gray intricately patterned plumage with streaking on the underparts. Midsized by screech-owl standards, these birds are stocky, short-tailed (tail averages from 6. 6 to 8. 6 cm (2. 6 to 3. 4 in) in length) and broad-winged (wing chord averages from 14. 5 to 17 cm (5. 7 to 6. 7 in)) as is typical of the genus. They have a large, round head with prominent ear tufts, yellow eyes, and a yellowish beak, which measures on average 1. 45 cm (0. 57 in) in length. The feet are relatively large and powerful compared to more southern screech owls and are typically feathered down to the toes, although the southernmost populations only have remnant bristles rather than full feathering on the legs and feet. The eastern screech owl (and its western counterpart) are actually some of the heaviest screech owls, the largest tropical screech owls do not exceed them in average or maximal weight, but (due to the eastern screech owls' relatively short tails) they are surpassed in length by Balsas (M. seductus), long-tufted (M. sanctaecatarinae), white-throated (M. albogularis), and rufescent owls (M. seductus), in roughly increasing order.
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