Northern Saw-whet Owl Release

I am overjoyed that we were able to return three Northern Saw-whet Owls back to the wild. All three originally became injured by colliding with windows. Two have been in our care since spring migration while the third became injured just a couple of weeks ago during fall migration.

Northern Saw-whet Owls weigh half as much as Illinois’ smallest year-round resident owl, the Eastern Screech Owl. Like all birds of prey, males are smaller than females. For a Northern Saw-whet, that might mean 70 grams for a male and 100 grams for a female – less than 1/4 of a pound.

Northern Saw-whets passing through Chicago probably summer in Wisconsin or Canada and spend winters as far north as southern Illinois to as far south as the southern United States. One of our volunteers informed me that a Northern Saw-whet has been known to winter at Morton Arboretum and has been sighted in the same tree winter after winter. Flint Creek Wildlife has never admitted a Northern Saw-whet except during migration.

Check out the photo gallery on our website for additional release photos.

Safe travels.

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