February 16, 2008

Saw-whet Owl

Saw-whet owl (Cornell University)
This has been an owl-y winter.

(Photo from Cornell University's All About Birds site.)

We had the pygmy owl visitation last month.

Then last night (crunchy snow, 12 degrees F.) M. and I were walking the dogs before bed and heard a saw-whet owl calling.

They get the name because the call sounds like someone filing (whetting) the teeth of a large saw with a steel file. Or like a small dog crying--but too regular a series of sounds.

Read and hear more at the Owl Pages.


jnfr said...

I live in Westminster, north of Denver and to the west by Standley Lake reservoir, and there is a saw whet owl sleeping in the pine tree in front of my house this morning. We've lived here ten years and I've never seen an owl in the yard, though we do get a lot of birds coming through on the way to the mountains.

I'm glad to know it's an "owly" year, and not just me!

jnfr said...

I just looked at your post about the pygmy owls, and now I'm uncertain which type is in my yard. It's sleeping so I can't really see the feather color around the eyes, but it doesn't look quite that buff.

My pictures aren't very good, but what do you think?

Chas S. Clifton said...

I think your photo looks more like a saw-whet owl -- just the general shape. Saw-whets always seem to have big heads -- just feathers and fluff, of course.

jnfr said...

Thanks very much! As the light has come up I can see that the colors are much more buff/rusty, too.

Unfortunately I'm afraid the bird has a wound on its chest. I've called the Birds of Prey people and hope they can come check him out.

jnfr said...

I just wanted to let you know that the bird was fine. The blood on its breast was from sitting on top of a mouse it had caught! I got to watch it sleep and eat for a few hours, and then it was off!

Thanks again.