Northern Saw-Whet Owl

Northern Saw-Whet Owl, Aegolius acadicus
2018

Though named for one of their calls that sounds like a saw being sharpened with a stone, the Northern Saw-Whet Owl’s most notable call—made by the males in mating season—sounds just like the beeping of a large vehicle backing up. They have an impressive array of calls, from a songbird-like twitter to even a loon-like wail. They do not, however, say the classic hoo. They are the smallest owls found in Minnesota, sometimes even smaller than a robin. However, they are competent little birds of prey, feasting on mice and shrews and even songbirds. The main threat they have to watch out for is other raptors—particularly other owls.

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