Saw-whet Owl

Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Aegolius
Species: acadicus

La. strix, strigis  owl
La. forma  form, shape, kind
La. aegolius  night bird of
La. Acadia  former French
      colony in Nova Scotia

Saw-whet Owl, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Birds of America, 1917

Louis Agassiz Fuertes

About eight inches long. Dark cinnamon brown with white streaks on upper parts and white with cinnamon brown streaks on underside. Buff white facial disk with black outline around yellow eyes. Three or four narrow white bands on the tail.


USGS Saw-whet Owl Map

Inhabits dense coniferous forests, groves and tree stands in farms and towns from the middle U.S. north to Canada and Alaska and in the southwest mountainous regions as far Mexico in the winter. Like its cousin, the Boreal Owl, it inhabits the northern latitudes around the globe.

Makes a nest of loose chips and feathers in natural or abandoned tree cavities, rock clefts, sometimes in abandoned squirrel, crow or heron nests, in building towers and in bird houses which have been used for hundreds of years for rodent control.

Night hunter for mice and insects. Its note resembles the filing of a saw.

Lays three to seven white eggs which hatch after about four weeks incubation and young leave the nest in another four to five weeks.

The Saw-whet Owl Nestbox (same as for Pigmy Owl, Lewis Woodpecker Flicker, and Grackle) has a 7" by 7" floor, 16" inside ceiling, 2 1/2" diameter entrance hole located 14" above the floor and ventilation openings.

Nestbox for Flicker, Lewis Woodpecker, Saw-whet Owl, Pigmy Owl & Grackle
Saw-whet Owl Nestbox Plans

Assembled with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes.  Hinged roof is secured with shutter hooks for easy access.

Mount out of reach (10 feet or higher) near woodland edges or clearings. Place some wood chips on the floor.


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