Saw Whet Owl

the best owl ever!

Coloring

Saw-whet owls are golden brown, with a speckled white belly, and large white circles around their eyes. They have yellow or gray legs, and their wings are speckled with white. Each individual bird looks a bit different. They have huge amber or yellow eyes. Males and females look about the same. Chicks are dusty gray on top with golden brown bellies and white feathers in between their eyes.
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Habitat

native to most of the United States

live in forests

prefer conifer groves

Nocturnal

Prey animals have adapted to be nocturnal, so that they can come out of their safe dens and find food when most of their predators are asleep. So, the saw-whet owl adapted with them to be active at the same time as its' prey so hunting is much easier and more efficient.

The saw-whet owl has many adaptations that make hunting at night easy.

Eye Adaptations

eyes: owl's eyes allow night vision because

(1) they are very large and let in plenty of light to see with


(2) they have more structures within their eyes called rods that allow light in than humans, so they can see better with less light. they lack as many cone structures that allow color vision, however, that humans have more of


(3) they have a special sort of mirror at the back of they eye called a tapetum lucidum that makes the light coming into the eye bounce back to the rods, so their is a better chance of the light hitting them

Silent Feathers

Around the edges of owl's primary flight feathers is a special serration. This cuts through the air traveling over the wing so that the surface the air hits is smaller, creating less resistance, and less noise. This allows the owl to silently swoop down upon it's prey without its presence being known and the prey having time to scamper away.

Talons and Feet

Long, sharp talons at the end of huge, powerful toes allow owls to kill with their feet. From high in a tree, the owl can swoop down silently upon it's prey, snatch it with their talons, and carry it back to their nest.

Ears

The ears of the saw-whet owl are very large in comparison to it's body. The ears are on the sides of the head under the feathers. The shape of the owl's face allows sound to travel to the ears better. Because they hunt at night, they need to rely a lot on sound to track down their prey.