Birdorable Saw-whet Owl

Birdorable Northern Saw-whet Owl

Today we've added one of the cutest birds I've ever seen: the Northern Saw-whet Owl. At 7 to 8 inches (17.8 to 20.3 cm) this is the smallest owl of Eastern North America. This cute little fellow got its name by accident when a member of the National Audubon Society heard the call of a Barn Owl, which is said to resemble a saw being sharpened, and mistakenly attributed it to the smaller owl. Since 1997, the Ned Smith Center in Pennsylvania has been leading research in the movements and ecology of the Saw-whet Owl. Each autumn, a team of trained researchers and volunteers harmlessly catch, band and release hundreds of these small birds at three banding stations in central Pennsylvania. Throughout the years they've banded more than 5,000 owls and helped map the movements of this secretive species. For more information about this great project check out the Saw-whet Owl Research Blog.

Photo by Steve Gilchrist (via Flickr)
Saw-Whet Owl
Photo by zhakora (via Flickr)

For more Birdorable owls see Meet the Birds: Owls.


Canaduck on December 7, 2009 at 8:40 PM wrote:
I love Saw-whets! So excited you made a Birdorable!
Birdorable on December 7, 2009 at 8:53 PM wrote:
I'm glad you like it Canaduck. I saw my first Saw-whet Owl at a raptor rehabilitation center this summer and I loved it so much ... it was the cutest thing I'd ever seen. I'd love to see one of these in the wild once! :)
Ashira on December 8, 2009 at 8:51 AM wrote:
How ADORABLE. <3 So many owls! : D
Cat on December 13, 2009 at 8:49 AM wrote:
Thanks! They are so cute, and getting cuter!
NatureFootstep on December 19, 2009 at 3:34 PM wrote:
this owl is very sweet. :)
little bird on October 21, 2010 at 12:56 PM wrote:
Aw, that is the cutest!
Louise Warner on February 23, 2017 at 8:21 AM wrote:
they are Birdorable!!!
Spurwing Plover on May 22, 2022 at 5:44 AM wrote:
I read their name comes from their call which resembles the sharpening of a wet saw on a stone

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