Northern Saw-whet Owl

Aegolius acadicus

There is one record of this species from Saint Paul, from an individual found on November 7, 1962. There are two records of the similar Boreal Owl, so if a visiting birder is fortunate to find a small owl look for Saw-Whet Owls dark bill, brown facial disk, and lightly spotted crown to clinch the identification. Apparently this individual and at least one of the Boreal Owls was found sitting on the ground huddled under the leeward side of a sand dune. These sand dunes often have small unvegetated grooves just below the top which offer shelter from the elements. It is worth noting that any small owl should be inspected carefully, as Oriental Scops Owl is also a possibility (they have ear tufts).