Not your average work day: Meet a little Saw-Whet owl

WOW! My place of work became the most exciting place to be ever today. Look who visited me at my window…


Can you identify my new friend?

UPDATE: This is indeed a saw-whet owl. Here’s what I found out from Dr. Phillips, a favorite professor and friend, about our little guy here…


“I think what you’ve got there is a Saw-Whet Owl, a pretty uncommon sighting (although my Peterson’s Bird Guide lists this species as “a very tame little owl”). The last time I saw one it was about 1979…. What were the circumstances when you took this photo?”

Now that I’m not at work, I can write a little more about what happened. I was on the telephone talking to one of the Swedish instructors when a *thump* little owl hit the window. I was already looking out the window and saw it hit “The Posten Window” which is at a right angle to the original glass that the owl hit around maybe 3:30 in the afternoon? At this point, it sort of floated down onto the snow pile gathered around the Christmas tree decorated with lights for the holidays. Still on the phone, the first thing out of my mouth was “Hur säger man ‘owl’ pÃ¥ svenska?” (Turns out the word is uggla.) After finishing the conversation and promising to take pictures for her, I hung up. In the only way I know how, I started to freak out and try to take pictures, alerting lots of colleagues in the meantime. Still, I was walking slowly so that I didn’t startle my new friend. I didn’t want him to leave! I got more daring and starting opening our double-wooden doors just a crack to get pictures without a pane of glass in the way. At some point I decided to call another person on the staff who has helped to rescue birds in my window in the past. Seeing the owl so still, we wanted to make sure he was okay. Our rescuer arrived with gloves etc. to check out the situation. I was able to capture the above photo just before the rescuer got too close with a cellphone camera and scared the little guy away. At least we knew he could still fly! My last sighting of the saw-whet was after his flight into another nearby evergreen. Can you find him?


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10 comments on “Not your average work day: Meet a little Saw-Whet owl”

  1. julia 26 January, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    In citygirl terms, it’s a bird! Since I also spent some time in more rural areas, I think I can also venture a guess that it’s not a duck. Perhaps it’s an owl?

  2. Ryan 26 January, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I believe that is a Strix occidentalis caurina
    Also….wordpress….how trendy of you.

    Also, jesus that’s a lot of content….maybe you guys should consider getting lives?

  3. Tom 26 January, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Blogging is my life.

  4. Martha 26 January, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    So some folks have theorized that this is a saw-whet owl. See a picture here:

    Do you think so?

  5. Martha 26 January, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    In response to the above, I *wish* blogging was my life. It would be a fun one… 😀

  6. Rod Phillips 26 January, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    I believe this is a Saw-Whet Owl, a species you don’t run across everyday. The last one I saw was almost 30 years ago.

  7. twinsetellen 26 January, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Bohus and then a saw-whet owl?!? How lucky can you get?

  8. Cassie 1 February, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Cute little fella! Great picture, you should frame it.

  9. Amy Mom 8 February, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    what a darling little bird with such a distinctly “owly” face–never knew they existed–thanks, Martha!

  10. Bob and Jean Hilscher 27 October, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    My wife and I managed to get some amazing pictures and video of a Northern Saw-Whet Owl here in Toronto on Friday. If you would like to see them come to:

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