Sunday, 13 January 2013

Saw-wheeet find near Cambridge

This afternoon, needing a break from the presentation I was working on, I went for a walk at a local area near my house with my mom. It was warm and overcast, however the winds were keeping the avifauna mostly hidden away. We left the path near the pond and headed deep into the woodlot. As we walked into an area with large hemlocks, we heard some chickadees making some scolding sounds about 50 meters away, in a tangled area of vines, shrubs, and diminutive trees. Thinking there might be an owl nearby, I watched the chickadees as they flew around agitated, and eventually located the source of their worry - a Northern Saw-whet Owl tucked away in a crook in a tree!

Fortunately my mom had her camera with her and was able to snap a few photos before its battery died.

Northern Saw-whet Owl - Cambridge (photo by Fran Vandermeulen)

Despite being a common owl over much of its boreal breeding range, they generally don't overwinter in this part of Ontario and are thus only around during migration. Their ability to remain perfectly still and hidden makes it very difficult to find saw-whets, and often the scolding chickadees do all the work, as was the case this time. In fact, this is the first Saw-whet that I have seen in the county. Nice to get it so close to home, too!


  1. that's a wicked find man! If this sighting was in Waterloo region, do you mind sharing your checklist with 'KWFN' account

  2. Thanks bud! It is shared. Nice find with that eider the other day...