Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owls roost during the day on a low branch of a dense conifer. The field guides say that these birds often use the same tree day after day. I can confirm that this is true. On December 5, 2010 there was a report of a Northern Saw-whet Owl on Farm Island near Pierre. I followed the directions a friend had given me, and found the bird right where he said it would be. A few weeks later I was told the bird was still roosting in the same tree on December 18 during the Pierre Christmas Bird Count. Yesterday I decided to go back and have another look. Despite the below freezing temperatures and snow up to the middle of my calves, I trudged the mile and a half from the parking lot to the tree where I had seen the little owl in December. There it was: same tree, same branch, 43 days later. Out of the tens of thousands of cedar trees dotting Farm Island, why would this little owl choose this particular tree? I forgot to ask him! Write me for directions on how to find it, and you can go ask him yourself!