Creature Feature: Saw-Whet Owl
Creature Feature will be our new monthly nature post series showcasing our learning adventures at our local nature center. My two oldest children, Eldest and Princess, will take turns doing the main post as well as related educational posts. This month Eldest is the main author and Princess will be adding a post about free Owl Resources, great for Unit Study or to learn more. Now turning this post over to my kids!
Yesterday we went to Brukner Nature Center for a program. The program was called Creature Feature and is once a month. This month’s animal was the Saw-whet owl. I have been to a couple owl programs before but never have seen a Saw-whet owl.
We learned about common owl’s in Ohio. First we learned about the Great Horned Owl. The Great Horned owl is the largest owl. It’s favorite food is skunk. Since owls have almost no sense of smell, the stink does not affect the owls. Plus, skunks don’t move so fast because usually their spray is enough to scare most animals.
Second we learned a little bit about Barred Owl. The adult is 40–63 cm (16–25 in) long with a 96–125 cm (38–49 in) wingspan. Weight in this species is 500 to 1,050 g (1.1 to 2.3 lb). It has a pale face with dark rings around the eyes, a yellow beak and brown eyes.
Third we learned about the Screech Owl. One thing I learned about the Screech Owl is that it’s the most commonly seen owl in Ohio.
“Similar to other owls, the screech owl females are larger than the males of their species. They have a compact size and shape. The screech owls are small and agile. They are about 7 to 10 inches tall and have a wingspan of about 18 to 24 inches. They have prominent, wide-set feather tufts with bright yellow eyes. (wikipedia)”
Lastly we learned about the Saw-whet Owl. The Saw-whet owl was first discovered in Ohio about 20 years ago. The scientific description of one of the sub-species of this owl is attributed to the Rev. John Henry Keen who was a missionary in Canada in 1896. Adults are 17–22 cm (6.7–8.7 in) long with a 42–56.3 cm (17–22.2 in) wingspan. They can weigh from 54 to 151 g (1.9 to 5.3 oz) with an average of around 80 g (2.8 oz),making them one of the smallest owls in North America.
Creature Feature was so fun. We learned a lot at the program. I had the great privilege of meeting Brian, Wildlife Educator at Brukner Nature Center, the one who did the presentation for the Saw-Whet Owl. It is hard to explain everything that was in the presentation, so I threw together a video of the presentation.
(stats were found on wikipedia)
For more Bird resources check out:
Diana Boles says
I learned something new about the Great Horned Owl today from this blog. We used to live in El Paso, Texas, and we lived in an area where these great birds rested at night on their migratory path to wherever they wintered. Sometimes they would sit high on top of a utility pole over by our chicken coop. We didn’t like this very much and would shoo them away. We were always impressed with their wide wing span. They’re huge. I didn’t know that about skunks, but we did have a number of them where we lived. Thanks for sharing.
My kids love owls! My daughter’s favorite bird is a snowy owl and my son asked for a barn owl plush for Christmas. Our local nature center has several injured owls but no saw-whet owls.
My understanding is that Saw-whet Owl’s are very localized and rare.
JDaniel4's Mom says
We have learned much about owls. I love learning about the ones you shared.