Members of the genus Aegolius are small owls with a large, rounded head with no ear-tufts, and a well developed, rounded facial disc. The eyes are yellow or orange-yellow with black at the edges of the eyelids. They have long wings, are feathered down to and sometimes including the toes. The genus contains four species, all of which live in extensive forest (one in the Holarctic region, three in America).
Listen to the sound of Northern Saw-whet Owl
[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/STRIGIFORMES/Strigidae/sounds/Northern Saw-whet Owl.mp3]
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
|wingspan min.:||46||cm||wingspan max.:||56||cm|
|size min.:||17||cm||size max.:||21||cm|
|incubation min.:||21||days||incubation max.:||26||days|
|fledging min.:||20||days||fledging max.:||34||days|
In some places, breeds in oak woodland or in streamside groves in arid country. Winters in habitats with dense cover, especially groves of conifers.
Nest: Site is in cavity in tree, usually 15 -60′ above ground. Mostly use abandoned woodpecker holes. Will also use artificial nest boxes. No nest is built; eggs are laid on wood chips or other debris in bottom of n
Clutch 5 -6, sometimes 4 -7, rarely 3 -9. White. Incubation by female only, 27 -29 days; male brings food to her throughout this time.
Young: At first, adult male brings all food to nest, female feeds it to young. Female remains with chicks until youngest is about 18 days old; then she may hunt for them also, or may depart. Young leave nest at about 4 –
5 weeks, remain together near nest and are fed (mostly by male) for at least another 4 weeks. Female may sometimes find another mate and nest a second time.
Feeds mostly on mice that live in forest, especially deer mice; also many voles. Also eats other mice, shrews, young squirrels, sometimes small birds and large insects. A resident race on Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, may eat crustaceans and
insects in intertidal zone.
Behavior: Hunts almost entirely at night, mostly by waiting on low perches and then swooping down on prey. Finds its prey both by sound and by sight; as with many owls, ears are adapted for precisely locating the source of sounds.
Video Northern Saw-whet Owl
copyright: Leslie Lieurance