Saw Whet Owl Facts

Northern Saw-Whet Owl
aka Aegolius acadicus

This is the female of our species and I will be telling you all about us today. Before I start telling you what we look like I wanted to clue you in on a few other names that we go by. We have been known as the: blind owl, Kirkland's owl, sparrow owl, Acadian owl, white-fronted owl, the sawyer, farmland owl, Little Nightbird, Queen Charlotte owl, and even the whet-saw owl. Why all these aliases I'll never know but it does make for interesting speculation.

Ok now I am a little larger then the male of our species which does seem to be the determining factor of all our kind. We are a very small, short-bodied type with an overly large head. Must need that large head to hold that big brain that we have. ha! Ha! Our head is earless and we look smaller when we perch on trees but in flight we appear a lot larger because of our broad wings. We have a gorgeous fluffy reddish or brown plumage streaked with white underneath and spots on our back. We have a greyish face and huge bright yellow eyes. Our plumage is helpful to us when hiding in foliage and when we really feel threatened we straighten our bodies and appear like a tree branch. It really works quite well and fools a lot of those dangerous animals out there that would like to do bodily harm to us.

Our appetites lean mostly towards mice and even then usually just their heads. What you humans would call the filet mignon. We have also been known to eat squirrels, moles, and bats. We hunt mainly at dawn and dusk those being the safest time for us. Many times we will kill as many a six mice in a row and only eat one or two and save the rest for later. We bury them in a safe spot for the winter months and then thaw them out as we need them. Sort of like the squirrel burying his nuts. Hey where do you think they got the idea from? We have also been known to eat frogs and insects but only when absolutly necessary.

We usually get the urge to start a family between the months of March and July. Our male will start his courtship by singing me a beautiful song and flying above me and then bringing me a gift of a small bird. I build my nest in dead trees usually about 13-20 ft. high. Once the male has accomplished his part aside from bringing me food and guarding the nest it usually takes me about 26 to 28 days to deliver around 5 to 6 little babies. They are usually on their own in about a month but may come back to visit from time to time till they're sure of themselves.

Our homes our widely scattered throughout Canada and North America and sometimes as far south as Florida. We are a nomadic bunch and never stay in one place to long. We do like the forests of all these places the deeper the better. So there's a good chance that you might catch a glimpse of us, heck it could be in your very own backyard. Wouldn't that be cool?

The Saw-Whet Owl

Debra Burnett c 2001 - 2003
Copyright Debra Burnett 2001, 2003
Tsillan Wildlife Sanctuary
Washington State
Website: soon

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