Northern Saw Whet Owl: The Cutest Owls
The Northern saw whet owl is tiny, cute and recently newsworthy—one was found in the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Learn how to identify them.
It’s the small size and intense eyes that make a Northern saw whet owl so captivating. Despite being named after the sound of sharpening blades on whetstones, the tiny Northern saw whet owl’s charming, toot-toot calls are hardly menacing. The pint size owls stand just about 8 inches tall, about the size of a robin, with oversized, endearing eyes. Discover the amazing types of owls in North America.
The alarm notes of songbirds may draw your attention to a roosting saw whet owl in a dense conifer stand. You might also see the elusive birds at a banding program as researchers continue to learn more about distribution, mostly in the forests of northern and western North America. Learn how to spot the owl in your backyard trees.
Northern saw whet owls eat rodents, but they are so small they often eat an adult mouse over the course of two meals. The nocturnal owl is famously tame if approached. In fall, saw whet owls spread out from their breeding grounds in northern states and western mountains, wintering in thickets and woods across the country.
Rockefeller the Saw Whet Owl
Recently these adorable owls were all over the news when one was discovered in New York City’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The owl, now named Rockefeller, was rescued and cared for at the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, then released back into the wild.
“Rocky’s release was a success! She is a tough little bird and we’re happy to see her back in her natural habitat. We are sure that Rocky will feel your love and support through her journey south,” the wildlife center wrote in a Facebook post.
Next, check out 15 outstanding pictures of owls.