Image: Richard Ditch, 2007 [larger view].
Date Time Original: 2007:01:03 16:32:23
Exposure Time: 1/60
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
Rick Wright, Managing Director of WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide, writes:
I think it’s an ash, but whatever the identity of the foliage, those would have to be mighty leaves indeed were this anything but a tiny owl. The short tail eliminates all of the pygmy-owls — and that’s a fortunate thing indeed, as the visual identification of the various taxa in that genus is a bit of a nightmare.
The lack of “horns” and the warm buffy stripes on the underparts point to Northern Saw-whet Owl. Just to be certain, we note that that finely streaked forehead and dark bill are consistent with that species and not with Boreal (Tengmalm’s) Owl, while Unspotted Saw-whet Owl is, well, unspotted. The much smaller Elf Owl — an id contender that had not occurred to me — is diffusely marked beneath, unmarked on the crown, and completely different in shape. Where Northern Saw-whet is a compact, blocky little bird, Elf Owl is small-headed and slender.
Review all mystery birds to date.