This week’s photo, taken March 12, 2016 in Walla Walla County, WA, features a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, a life bird for me.
One of the best ways to find a roosting NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL during the day is to look for whitewash (bird poop) on the ground under a fir or pine tree. That evidence might indicate that a saw-whet is concealed in low branches directly above the poop mark. That’s how we found 3 saw-whets in 3 separate trees last weekend in Walla Walla County.
The saw-whet owl has been at the top of my wish list since I moved to the Pacific Northwest 3 1/2 years ago. I knew that when I finally encountered one that I would be impressed by its cuteness, but I wasn’t prepared for its smallness. A saw-whet is less than the size of a robin. It’s adorable, and tiny.
So, when you are searching for a saw-whet owl, don’t look up. Instead, look down, find the poop, then look up, and you may find yourself staring at one of the most precious little creatures you will ever see.
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