Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl
(Aegolius acadicus)

Order:  Strigiformes
Family:  Strigidae

Photo © Nightjar

Northern Saw-whet Owl Information

Length:  7-8"

Habitat:  Breeding habitat: A wide variety of woodlands including coniferous, mixed coniferous/deciduous, and deciduous. Prefers coniferous forests. Also, tamarack bogs and cedar groves.

Winter habitat: Similar to breeding habitat but may also include rural towns and suburban areas.

Diet:  Mainly small mammals, especially deer mice but also other mice, voles, lemmings, shrews, juvenile squirrels, juvenile chipmunks, and occasionally small birds. Also consumes insects such as grasshoppers and beetles.

  Song and calls of Northern Saw-whet Owl

Additional Information

Northern Saw-whet Owl
Photos, subspecies, description, habitat, food and feeding, breeding, movements and life span. (From

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

By Kameron Perensovich on Flickr, CC

Northern Saw-whet Owl
Identification Tips

  • Small, nocturnal, predatory bird
  • Large, rounded head
  • Yellow eyes
  • Brownish facial disks
  • Dark bill
  • Brown upperparts with large white spots
  • Pale underparts with large, dark irregular streaks
  • Sexes similar

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Range Map from eBird

Year-round Sightings of the Northern Saw-whet Owl over last 10 years

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS