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Northern Saw-whet

Northern Saw-whet Owl

(Aegolius acadicus)


(wingspan: 16’’-18’’) The Northern Saw-whet Owl is short-bodied with a large, round head and no ear tufts. Their white eyebrows connect over their beak to make a “Y”. They have bright yellow eyes and a light brown facial disk. The Saw-whet’s chest is white with brown streaks. The juveniles have white eyebrows like the adults but their head and back are dark brown while its chest and belly is a rusty orange.



These owls eat mainly small mammals and occasionally small birds and insects.


In Colorado, there are some populations of Northern Saw-whet Owls that live here year-round and some that migrate out of state for the winter.


Northern Saw-whet Owls are secondary cavity nesters, which means they need to find a cavity in a tree that is either natural or created by a woodpecker or a flicker. The females will lay anywhere from four to nine eggs but on average five to six. The babies typically fledge the nest after four to five weeks.


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