10/14/2009

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Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet by Brett Tryon


Just as we were wrapping up today, a little yellowish bird appeared that wasn’t a kinglet. Marc, Ian and I were in pursuit. After filtering out kinglet after kinglet, I spotted it again: an Orange-crowned Warbler. Check. First one seen today. Suddenly Marc shouted “There’s an owl!” and started pointing excitedly to the same birch we were already looking in. It had been right in front of our eyes the whole time – being dive-bombed by that same Orange-crowned Warbler!

The little cutie was fairly high up in the tree, which is something we rarely see; usually they are found roosting on a low branch at or below eye-level. We will be keeping our eyes peeled now!

If you see an owl during the day, please keep a distance and do not play owl calls or harass it in any other way. Although these birds may allow you to come close, make no mistake - they become quite stressed in the presence of humans. We took this photo with a zoom lens and did not linger to long!