Tuesday, May 5, 2009

#8 Northern Saw-whet Owl vs. #9 American Dipper

Northern Saw-whet Owl

  • Deer mice are the main prey item of Northern Saw-whet Owls. Adults divide a mouse up into 2 meals. One adult owl was found dead after trying to swallow a mouse whole.
  • While the female sits on the nest for the incubation period, the male brings food.
  • The female keeps the nest cavity very clean while she broods her nestlings.
  • When mice are plentiful, the owl will kill several in quick succession and store them for eating when food is more scarce.
  • Northern Saw-whet Owls are known by a variety of different names including Little Nightbird and Queen Charlotte Owl.

Click here to view more information on Northern Saw-whet Owls.

For pictures of Northern Saw-whet Owls, click here.

American Dipper

  • American Dippers nest along streams and are very picky about the nest site. The site must be safe from floods and difficult for predators to access. These requirements lead to few good nesting sites and this appears to limit the Dippers population.
  • Unlike most other songbirds, Dippers molt both their wing and tail feathers all at once in the late summer. They are flightless during this period.
  • In order to survive in the cold streams that they reside in, they have a low metabolic rate, extra oxygen-carrying capacity in their blood and a very thick coat of feathers.
  • Dippers have an extra eyelid called a nictitatin membrane that allows it see underwater.
  • A group of Dippers is known as a "ladle" of Dippers.

Click here to view more information on American Dippers.

For pictures of American Dippers, click here.

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