NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS
Adorable and tiny, Northern Saw-whet Owls rely on stillness and camouflage when a threat approaches a daytime roost site. They are highly nocturnal, however, so the research of these little owls is tricky, late-night business.
While Northern Saw-whets are highly migratory, some of these owls remain in the northern boreal and hardwood forests year-round. Their favorite roosting trees include the Douglas Fir, Western Larch, and Western Red Cedar. These owls use large, dead trees, or snags, full of holes during the nesting season; old woodpecker and squirrel cavities make great nests. Their reliance on hardwood
trees and snags makes the Northern Saw-whet Owl vulnerable to habitat deforestation and degradation.
They are named for their monotonous, night-time whistle which has been described as saw-like, although more people tend to think it sounds like the alert sound of a truck backing up.
© KURT LINDSAY
© DEB HANSEN
ABOUT YOUR SYMBOLIC ADOPTION
Your Northern Saw-whet Owl adoption helps ensure that our research on these owls continues. At the Owl Research Institute, we know that conservation efforts begin with reliable data. We provide this data and work hard to ensure that it gets to the right decision makers.
Our Northern Saw-whet Owl study is conducted out of many different study sites, as well as our Migration Station, in western Montana. Travel to and from our sites, equipment, manpower, and data management are all costs associated with our research of these owls.
Your adoption helps cover these necessary costs and ensure that our study continues - working to understand and protect this special species.
HOW NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL ADOPTION WORKS
As a non-profit, we designed our adoption program to help fund research and conservation around specific species. Follow-up information about our Northern Saw-whet research can be found in our annual newsletter, The Roost, which comes out annually between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you would like to receive a copy, let us know HERE >>.
All of our research is conducted on wild owls in their natural habitat. We keep no owls at the Owl Research Institute and are not a rehabilitation center. We are a field-based research institute with an emphasis on conservation and education.
We are enormously grateful to those who make the decision to support our work. The symbolic adoption program is a new and unique way to donate to the Owl Research Institute and ensure that research on Northern Saw-whet Owls continues.
ORI'S NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL RESEARCH
Our Northern Saw-whet study began in 1981. Since that time we’ve located over 55 natural nest-sites and a handful of nests in nest boxes. We believe this is the largest sample of natural nest sites in North America. Interestingly, we have documented nests from elevations of 3,000’ in cottonwood stands in valley bottoms through 7,000’ in mixed coniferous forests in sub-alpine habitats. The owls appear to be habitat generalist, occurring in all forest types
we survey. We are currently in the process of analyzing and writing up our research results, which we believe will have important implications for forest management snag retention policies. In addition, we conduct a winter roost-site study and fall migration banding of Northern Saw-whet Owls.
The Montana Migration Projects looks to determine if Western Montana is a migration flyway for owls. At our migration site, we’ve captured around 70 Northern Saw-whet Owls. We did have one individual who was captured and banded in Missoula in late September that found its way to Lucky Peak Bird Observatory outside of Boise, ID and was recaptured there in the first week of
October. Recaptures and encounters like this are rare. Individually, these records are interesting, but over time a collection of these data can help us understand the patterns and movements of Northern Saw-whet Owls and
perhaps identify important habitats.