Date: 11/27/18 2:11 pm
From: Christopher Hill (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Northern Saw-whet Owl record
I would assume Saw-whets are migrating through, as they generally do, under the radar. I haven’t heard of this being an especially big year for them (well, I heard about really big numbers in NY, but I don’t know if that translates to more reaching the Carolinas). There was an eBird report of a couple of them banded last week in Oconee County SC (in the mountain corner of the state). Banders in GA and SC who work hard to audiolure them into nets have shown that they are regular migrants and winter visitors in low numbers, and probably one window kill shouldn’t change our expectations too much.

If you do play a tape of the classic toot-toot saw whet call, you’re much more likely to hear a “whine” call (or barks, or chittering) in response than toots. As I understand it from the banders, it’s almost entirely females that make it this far south and they don’t toot hardly at all compared to males. But if you’re lucky enough to have one respond, you’ll likely get a close approach. They’re much less bashful than Eastern Screech-owls. None of that faintly heard tremolos from 100 yards away - they’ll generally get right in your face. Good luck!

Chris Hill
Conway, SC

On Nov 27, 2018, at 4:57 PM, Harry LeGrand <carolinabirds...><mailto:<carolinabirds...>> wrote:

Kent Fiala asked me to clarify "presumed". John simply said: "One was just brought to the Museum …" He didn't say it was alive or was dead, but that crows had chased it into a window. Thus, I am presuming that since the bird was taken to the State Museum, instead of an animal hospital, it was dead and not alive. The bird is (was) certainly a Northern Saw-whet Owl, as John has corroborated it.

Guess I should have just said "a N. Saw-whet Owl was brought to the Museum"!

Harry LeGrand

On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 4:36 PM Harry LeGrand <hlegrandjr...><mailto:<hlegrandjr...>> wrote:
John Gerwin told a few of us just now that a presumed dead N. Saw-whet Owl was brought in to the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, apparently this morning. According to the couple that brought it in, several crows had chased it into a window of a home on Merrington Circle in Raleigh; that's up near Baileywick Road Park in north Raleigh.

So -- be aware of the possibility of this species in the Carolinas now, at least in northern NC. It wouldn't hurt to play some Saw-whet tapes at dusk or early evening when you are near or in some dense woods. And the next time you see or hear crows chasing something, it just might be …..

Harry LeGrand

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