Sunday, February 20, 2011

Northern Saw-whet Owl - or Maximum Cute

Big thank you to friend Sue P, whose sharp ears and wanderlust for open spaces took her down a ways from a park we were both at this past weekend. She heard mobbing, and checked a red cedar tree for a possible predator - most likely a raptor. She found pellets and plenty of poop, indicating that an owl had been there. We took another look - and found this fantastic bird! Northern Saw-whet owls have been fairly easy to find in the Twin Cities this past winter. This bird has a small rodent in its feet, so he has obviously been hunting well. We were careful not to spend too much time just staring at him, though it was tempting. Owls do not fly off as readily as hawks do when they are stressed, which often leads people to think that they are "just fine" with the attention. Instead, they exhibit stress in different ways, and internalize much of it, so it is the responsibility of all of us to make sure to not intrude too much into their lives while we appreciate them.

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