|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|European explorers first discovered this Owl in a North American colony called Acadia (now Nova Scotia). The Latinised word "acadius" refers to this territory. The common name "Saw-whet" comes from these Owls unique calls described below. The Saw-whet Owl is also called Acadian Owl, blind Owl, Kirkland's Owl, the saw-filer, the sawyer, sparrow Owl, white-fronted Owl, Farmland Owl, Little Nightbird, Queen Charlotte Owl, and even the Whet-saw Owl.|
Common Misspellings: sawwhet owl, sawhet owl.
Description: The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a very small, short-bodied, Owl with a relatively short tail. The overly large head has no ear tufts and may appear distorted due to an asymmetrical skull. They look small when perched and tend to shuffle their feet, but in flight appear larger because of their broad wings.
The facial disk has brownish and whitish radials around the edge, which fade to a whitish area around the eyes. There is also a dark area from the base of the bill to the bottom inside edge of each eye. The rest of the head is brownish to grey-brown and densely covered with white streaks, especially on the forehead. The eyes are large and bright yellow-orange. The bill is black.
Plumage is quite fluffy and brownish or reddish brown overall streaked with white underneath and spotted on the back. Flight feathers are spotted white. The legs and feet are light buff and heavily feathered. The toes are lightly feathered and the claws are dark horn with blackish tips.
Size: Length 17-21.9cm (6.7-8.6"). Wingspan 45.9-56.3cm (18.1-22.2"). Weight 75-110g (2.6-3.9oz). Females are slightly larger than males.
Habits: Northern Saw-whet Owls are strictly Nocturnal, with activity beginning at late dusk. During the day, they depend on plumage for camouflage when roosting in foliage, usually close to the ground. When threatened, a Saw-whet Owl will elongate its body in order to appear like a tree branch or bump, often bringing one wing around to the front of the body.
Flight is rapid, woodpecker-like, laboured, and undulating.
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