Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Saw-whet!

This cute little ball of feathers is a Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Besides 'cute', he can do 'mean' also. He probably thinks he's menacing, but all that posturing and bill snapping doesn't make him any less cute.

The bird is one of the Northern Saw-whet Owls that owl banders Chris Neri and Nova Mackentley caught last night here at Whitefish Point. The number of saw-whets they catch far outnumbers any other owl species they get, although during 'invasion' years for Boreal Owl, that species may be the most abundant owl they band. So far, they have already caught one boreal and about fifty or so saw-whets.

They let me release this one. Here, I'm still holding it firmly by the legs. After I carefully loosened my grip on his legs, he just sat for a few seconds on my index finger, before flying off into the darkness.

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