- Established 1982 -

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(Aegolius acadicus)

(updated 4 Dec 2011)

Northern Saw-whet Owl

All text & photos © Hilton Pond Center

The Northern Saw-whet Owl (NSWO), Aegolius acadicus, is described as a "rare winter visitor" to South Carolina by Post & Gauthreaux (1989), and little is known about saw-whet migration or winter behavior throughout the southeastern U.S. Until the 1999 capture of seven saw-whets at Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History, only four others had ever been banded in South Carolina, the most recent 27 years earlier in 1972.

According to U.S. federal Bird Banding Lab data, three of the previous South Carolina saw-whets were captured by the late E. Calvin Clyde of Effingham (1960, 1963 & 1969); the 1972 banding was by Evelyn Dabbs west of Sumter. Clyde's owls were netted in December, January, and February; Dabbs' was on 23 November. All four of these birds were captured in the Coastal Plain, so the NSWO at Hilton Pond Center are the first banded in South Carolina's Piedmont physiographic province.

Will Post of The Charleston Museum also tried to net saw-whets on the coast in Fall 1999 and captured one bird on 3 December at Dill Sanctuary, James Island, Charleston County SC.

In summary, a total of 15 Northern Saw-whet Owls were banded in South Carolina through November 2011, ten of those at Hilton Pond Center.

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this website--including articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.