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Natural Highlights: Northern Saw-whet Owl

Our latest online program featured Mitchell Pruitt, a PhD candidate at the University of Arkansas, who talked about his research on the reclusive but very cute Northern Saw-whet Owl, the smallest bird of prey in North America.  Northern Saw-whet Owls weigh about as much as an American Robin and stand only 8 inches tall. They mainly eat woodland mice and an occasional bird or large insect, and they tend to hang out very quietly in dense stands of conifers, making their presence hard to detect.  Pruitt's recent research in Arkansas suggests that this owl might be a much more common winter resident in the South than previously thought.  By focusing on the appropriate habitat, especially stands of short leaf pine trees, and listening for their soft calls, observers here in the Midsouth and elsewhere might find more of these birds and potentially expand their known range.

For more information on the Northern Saw-whet Owl, visit these links:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Saw-whet_Owl/id

https://abcbirds.org/bird/northern-saw-whet-owl/

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/northern-saw-whet-owl

Posted by Cathy Justis at 2:57 PM