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Students confirm northern saw-whet owl in Newfoundland

Cara J

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Brendan Kelly, a student of the fish and wildlife technical program at the College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland, has been birdwatching and setting up nest boxes since he was in elementary school. So it was no surprise when he decided to partner up with another student, Sarah Butt, to put up nest boxes on the west coast of Newfoundland as part of a technical project required by his college. His plan was to attract boreal owls and learn more about their ecology. But what was surprising was his discovery of a couple much smaller owls in two of their nest boxes in early May. These birds, the size of coffee cups, were northern saw-whet owls (Aegolius acadicus). Kelly and Butt had heard the owl’s call before, and birdwatchers had reported sightings, but the owl, which inhabits much of North America, had never been documented as nesting in the Canadian province. But there they were. One box had a mother with six eggs. The other had five eggs. “When we went to check the boxes, it was surreal to see this tiny owl,” Kelly said. “What was more shocking was when we went to the nest box less than [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/students-confirm-northern-saw-whet-owl-in-newfoundland/

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