The Eastern Screech Owl has a length of 7 to 10 inches, and the wingspan is 18 to 24 inches. Females are larger than males. There are two distinct color phases: gray and rufous. In the rufous phase they are fox-red above and whitish below with rufous crossbars and dark vertical streaks, and rufous facial disks. In the gray phase they are gray or gray-brown above, darker on the crown, heavily streaked and crossbarred, with the underparts whitish. In both phases the striping and bars make a perfect imitation of tree bark.