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Bird Details

Owls Owls

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Aegolius acadicus

Northern Saw-whet Owl
copyright Jim Burns
Length: 8 in. (20 cm)
A resident of dense evergreen or mixed evergreen-deciduous forests, usually at higher elevations in the west, this small owl is rarely seen even though it is often not uncommon. They are most easily noticed during the spring breeding season when they call regularly at night. They eat mostly small mice and during the summer also large insects. The nest cavity is in abandoned woodpecker holes or natural cavities of trunks high above the ground. The cavity is also used throughout the year for roosting during the day time. Occasionally individuals will roost motionlessly on low open branches during the day where they can be approached closely. The four-digit banding code is NSWO.

Fir forest
Fir forest

Oak-pine woodland
Oak-pine woodland

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Male
Hooting (sound type)
Bird Song
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CR_NSWO_1B_050606_S.jpg
Male
Hooting (sound type)
Bird Song

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.