My friend Michael told me about Ned the Saw Whet Owl, an avian ambassador that Rebecca Lessard of the nonprofit Wings of Wonder is using to tell folks about nest boxes that you can build for small raptors (pdf). Ned is just 7″ tall and belongs to the smallest species of owl native to Michigan. Click Ned’s link above to see just how tiny he is!
This home will also house a screech owl and another bird recently featured – the American Kestrel (Michigan’s smallest raptor).
The Owl Pages have this to say about the Northern Saw-whet Owl – Aegolius acadicus:
European explorers first discovered this Owl in a North American colony called Acadia (now Nova Scotia). The Latinised word “acadius” refers to this territory. The common name “Saw-whet” comes from these Owls unique calls described below. The Saw-whet Owl is also called Acadian Owl, blind Owl, Kirkland’s Owl, the saw-filer, the sawyer, sparrow Owl, white-fronted Owl, Farmland Owl, Little Nightbird, Queen Charlotte Owl, and even the Whet-saw Owl.
The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a very small, short-bodied, Owl with a relatively short tail. The overly large head has no ear tufts and may appear distorted due to an asymmetrical skull. They look small when perched and tend to shuffle their feet, but in flight appear larger because of their broad wings.
…Northern Saw-whet Owls are strictly Nocturnal, with activity beginning at late dusk. During the day, they depend on plumage for camouflage when roosting in foliage, usually close to the ground.
You can hear their call at the link above and learn more at Wikipedia and All About Birds who explain that their defense upon discovery is to sit still and not fly, leading people to perceive them as “tame.”
Many more Michigan birds on Michigan in Pictures.