Sunday, February 21, 2010

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Recently I asked my friend Dave Bartkey if he could show me a Northern Saw-whet Owl in Rice Co.  Dave has a remarkable ability to find owls, especially on Christmas Bird Counts. He replied that we could give it a try, but there were no guarantees.  To make a long story short, we walked right by this saw-whet owl at the River Bend Nature Center in Faribault.  On our way out, Dave spied our bird, apparently sound asleep in a isolated cedar.

Northern Saw-whet Owls have always been a favorite bird for me.  When I began banding in Aberdeen, South Dakota, this owl was considered to be quite rare in the area.  But every October I banded about a dozen of them in a residential backyard.  I did not lure them in; they must have been abundant.  I caught most of my birds just before dawn.  Interestingly, I have tired unsuccessfully to band saw-whet owls since I moved to Northfield.

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