Northern Saw-whet Owl Research

Members of CARRI have been researching these nocturnal owls since 1990. We have placed over 70 nest boxes for these birds in and around Estes Park, Colorado. We have also been operating banding stations targeting these birds. The banding stations are operated from mid-September through mid-November.

We work in conjunction with Project Owlnet. Project Owlnet is a nation-wide research project that targets these tiny nocturnal owls in the fall. The project includes placing a series of mist nets in a wooded area. Then the call of the owl is broadcasted. The owls come to the call and fly around the speakers and land in the nets.

They are extracted processed and released. Watch the video below.


Below is some information about these owls that we have found.

1) These owls do not nest in the same nest location for more than a single year.

2) Northern Saw-whet Owls do not mate with the same mate for more than a single year.

3) The preferred prey of the Northern Saw-whet Owl appears to be deer mice.

4) Eggs are laid every two t- three days and incubation begins with the first egg laid.

5) The young fledge in the order that they have hatched.

6) Fledgling owlets instinctively perch next to the trunk of a tree, during the day, once out of their nests.

We have been banding these owls for over 20 years and have had some interesting recoveries of our banded birds.

The following owls have been recovered

0924-58637 was banded in Pinewood Springs, Colorado on 9/24/2009 and recovered in Estes Park, Colorado on 9/20/2011.

1014-46947 was banded in Estes Park, Colorado on 9/1/2016 and recovered in the same location on 11/10/2017.

*1014-28547 was banded in Estes Park on 10/4/2012 and recovered in Eastern Pennsylvania on 11/5/2016!


This original Watercolor is for sale

To purchase prints of this painting Click Here

To purchase the original painting Click Here