Adopt A Bird Band
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Northern Saw-whet Owl
(Aegolius acadicus)

Northern saw-whet owlAt an adult length of about 8 inches (20 cm), this tiny elf of an owl is one of the smallest in North America. Some are permanent residents of our area, while others simply move down their mountain slopes to lower elevations during migration.

Named for the sound of their call, which is similar to a saw being sharpened (or "whetted"), these little creatures are masters of camouflage. Not only are they speckled and spotted like the bark of a tree, if threatened they will lengthen their bodies to look like a branch, or flatten themselves to mimic a knotty bump.

As nocturnal creatures, these owls rarely, if ever, fly during the early morning hours when the banding nets are in use; in all of 2010, only a single saw-whet owl was banded at the station. In previous years, however, Carnegie Museum researchers have contributed to Project Owlnet, a network of banding stations who trap saw-whet owls at night during fall migration, in order to better understand population levels and migration habits.


Click to return to $100 level or view another level:

Adoptions at the $100 Level include these benefits:

  • Optional e-card for gift recipients (look on confirmation page after purchase)
  • Personalized adoption certificate printed with unique band number, photo of adopted species, and species highlights
  • Replica bird band
  • Invitation to attend a special adopter-only morning at the bird banding station
  • eNews updates about our bird research
  • Three free passes to Carnegie Museum of Natural History; $46 of each $100 adoption is tax-deductible
  • Admission to Powdermill Nature Reserve is always free

Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213
One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

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