Friday, September 7, 2012

Northern Saw-whet Owl

 Northern Saw-whet Owl
 Our newest education bird at The Raptor Center is a female saw-whet owl. She is not releasable because she is blind in her right eye. She does not have a name yet but we just finished taking suggestions for her name and soon they will let people vote on the one that they like the best. Keep an eye on The Raptor Center website if you would like to participate.
Northern Saw-whet Owl Eating a Mouse
Northern saw-whet owls breed up in mixed coniferous and deciduous forests in Canada, the northern United States, and the Rocky Mountains. Unlike many other species of owls saw-whet owls often migrate south. Each year at Hawk Ridge in Duluth, MN they band quite a few saw-whets as they migrate south in October. In fact in 1995 the banded over 1400 saw-whets at Hawk Ridge, although those numbers are not typical. This female spent a good deal of the winter at the Dodge Nature Center here in the Twin Cities. Each day for a month I would check on her and almost always find her perched in the exact same tree. A couple of times I was treated to her feeding on mouse. Each time I would have to wait for hours as she slept perched on top of her prey before she would wake up to eat but it was well worth it.  


5 comments:

lessandragr said...

She is just beautiful! I love little owls (even though I'm only familiar with them at the zoo or in a distant tree). But they are so cute!

DeniseinVA said...

That's a beautiful Northern saw-whet owl. It's good to hear their numbers are so healthy.

Jane said...

Beautiful birds:)

Anni said...

Wow....just all out, WOW!!!!

Bob Hilscher said...

Hi there. I have been reading a lot about The Raptor Center, its a place as a birder I will look to visit when I make my way down there out of Canada in the future. I live in Toronto, Ontario, and this past Friday, my wife and I came upon an adult Saw-Whet Owl out in the bush. He looked very much like your Northern Saw-Whet Owl. The big yellow eyes are beautiful. For my wife and I this was the first time we had ever seen a Saw-Whet Owl in the wild. Fortunately, we had our camera with us and got some good pictures and video. For those interested we have posted them at: http://frametoframe.ca/photo-essay-northern-saw-whet-owl-sighting