Saw-Whet Owl Aegolius acadicus
The Saw-Whet Owl is New Jersey's smallest bird of prey. Only 7 to 8 inches tall with a wingspan of 18 to 21 inches, this mini-owl weighs a mere 4 ounces. That's about the size of a "quarter-pounder." It has a wide rounded head with no feather tufts, and bright yellow eyes. Saw-Whets are seldom observed because of their small size, their nocturnal habits, and the dense, deep woods in which they live. When discovered, however, they are amazingly tame and easily approached. These owls seldom breed in New Jersey. They are regular winter visitors here, but their numbers vary greatly from year to year. This may indicate a southward movement of many birds during years when their prey species are scarce in their northern range.
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