Monday, February 9, 2009

Boreal and Saw-whet Owl

I'm very lucky to have such good friends in Saskatchewan, and in particular one excellent fellow who I won't embarrass by naming here. All I will say, is that I owe him a beer or three!

So, yesterday, a few of us spent a bit of time at some acreages not too far away from town where we were treated to not only a roosting Northern Saw-whet Owl, but also my first good look at a Boreal Owl, an Owl I have only ever heard calling before, but never actually seen.
The property owners were very kind, allowing us to look around, so a big thankyou to them also.

Although these two species of Owl look quite similar, aside from their very different sounding calls, there are in fact, many ways to seperate them by sight...

Boreal Owl - Height approx 10". Yellowish beak. Large-headed and long-tailed with dark brown streaking on the breast.







Northern Saw-whet Owl - Height approx 8" . A dark, almost black beak , shorter tail and a more rusty coloured brown streaking on the breast :



18 comments:

Shellmo said...

I love them both! That Boreal was really nestled into those pines - made for an extra lovely shot.

Kelly said...

...very beautiful. The soft browns and the electric eyes make you look twice.

NCmountainwoman said...

Amazing photographs. Beautiful birds.

Owlman said...

Great shots! I'm the admin for the North American Owls Flickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/americanowls/ and I'd love it if you'd post some of your owl photos in there.

Suzanne said...

They are adorable and so small! Those are great pictures, Nick. I can not only see them clearly, but get a feel for their personalities -- their indivduality.

Nick S said...

Thanks guys :-)

HANNIBAL said...

You continue to have the best luck! Fantastic images! Thanks for the comparison. They do look very much alike.

BirdingMaine said...

Beautiful images in an excellent light!

Kallen305 said...

Absoulutely stunning photographs. I can't get over how much of the detail of the owls you were able to pick up.

Philip said...

WOW! fantastic shots these Owls are beautiful looking ours tend to be just one colour thanks for Sharing Nick.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Once again,beautiful photos.
Blessings,Ruth

Brenda Schmidt said...

Fantastic photos, Nick!

Jayne said...

They are beautiful Nick! Saw your photo of the Waxwing on the Great Backyard Bird count website yesterday. Congratulations! :c)

T and S said...

Beautiful series. The sharpness and details is just perfect. I like the second image where the Owl is looking almost directly at you. Well done

Nick S said...

Thanks everyone :-)

Katie said...

I love your photos and these owls shots are no exception. However, I am a bit confused. The boreal owl has a white mouse and the saw-whet a black and white mouse, these mice do not seem local or wild. Did you or another person bait these owls? Did you see them catch the mice?

2sweetnsaxy said...

They're interesting looking and exquisite birds and you captured them beautifully! Did I say wow!?

Nick S said...

Thanks for your comments. Katie, these Owls were wild, and were in two seperate farm shelterbelts. On both occasions, a mouse was used to lure them from out of the trees, otherwise, we would have likely never even seen them.
You have to wonder how many of these Owls are sitting within the confines of an evergreen right in your own yard and you wouldn't even know it.
Last year, by a total fluke, looking out the living room window, I watched a Saw-whet land in a tree right nextdoor, late in the evening ,and located it the following morning.
Had I not seen it the night before, I would have never even known it was there :-)