Saw-whet Owl

Brought to Sharon Audubon Center: September 12, 2007

History: Herra was injured because of a collision with the car. She had a wing injury that did not heal properly and a broken toe that resulted in the loss of one of her talons. Herra was brought to the Sharon Audubon Center after a brief stay at the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, Connecticut, where she was on display. Herra now lives in our exhibit room aviary.

Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadius)

 Average Height: 7 - 8 inches

Average Weight: 0.25 lbs (4 oz)

Wingspan: 1.5 - 2 feet

Life Span: 7 - 8 years in the wild, up to 17 years in captivity

Description: The Saw-whet Owl is the smallest owl in the Eastern United States and Canada. It does not have ear tufts. Its plumage is brown with white spots on the head, back, and wings. Its underparts are white with blotchy brown streaks. Male and female Saw-whets have similar markings.

Call: The Saw-whet Owl call is a single noted mellow whistle that sounds like the whetting, or sharpening, of a saw blade, hence the name Saw-whet Owl.

Range: Saw-whets occupy the Western and Northeastern United States into Canada. They migrate south to Connecticut and the Northeast from Canada, but they are uncommon. Some saw-whets may be seen in this area in late winter or early spring.

Habitat: Saw-whets prefer dense conifer, mixed conifer/deciduous forest, or wooded swamps, usually near a water source such as a pond or stream.

Diet: The diet consists mainly of small rodents (also shrews), bats, and insects.