On July 23, 2015, two Boulder County Sheriff’s Office deputies were driving near a campground when they were stopped in their tracks by a baby owl standing in the middle of the road.
The baby was a Northern Saw Whet Owl.
A dialogue between deputy and baby ensued, with baby making clicking sounds and twisting its head, after which the owl safely flew away.
The northern saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus) is one of the smallest owl species that are native to North America. Adults weigh only 1.9 to 5.3 oz, the average weight being only 2.8 oz.
They have a very sophisticated hearing and can very precisely localize their prey, due to their vertically asymmetrical ears and different shape of the ear openings, which enable sound to reach their ears at a different time and of different intensity. Such accurate sound localization allows it to hunt in a complete darkness by hearing alone.
Saw-whets owls can be found in dense thickets or conifers across most of North America including southeastern Alaska, southern Canada, most of the United States and the central mountains in Mexico. These small owls are often in danger of being preyed upon by larger owls and raptors.
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