- 7.1–8.3 in
- 16.5–18.9 in
- 2.3–5.3 oz
- Petite nyctale (French)
- Lechucita cabezona, Tecolotito cabezon (Spanish)
- The main prey items of the Northern Saw-whet Owl are mice, and especially deer mice of the genus Peromyscus. Adult mice usually are eaten in pieces in two different meals. One owl was found dead after apparently trying to swallow a large mouse whole.
- The female Northern Saw-whet Owl does the incubation and brooding. The male brings all her food while she is incubating. She leaves the eggs for only one or two short trips each night, to defecate and cough up a pellet.
- While the female saw-whet broods her nestlings, she keeps the nest cavity very clean. But, when the young are about 18 days old, she starts spending the night in another hole, and then the dirt starts to accumulate. When the young owls leave the nest after another ten days to two weeks, the nest cavity has a thick layer of feces, pellets, and rotting prey parts.
Breeds in all types of forests within its range. Winters in a variety of habitats with dense vegetation for roosting.
Woodland mice. Occasionally some small birds and large insects.
- Clutch Size
- 4–10 eggs
- Egg Description
- Condition at Hatching
- hatching Helpless, eyes closed, covered in white down.
Nests in tree cavity, usually old woodpecker hole. Adds no nesting material. Also uses nest boxes.
Hunts at night from low perches.
Few data exist on population trends.
- Cannings, R. J. 1993. Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus). In The Birds of North America, No. 42 (A. Poole, and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.