The saw-whet owl gets its name after being mistaken for another owl species’ call which is said to sound like a saw blade being sharpened with a whetstone. (Contributed)

VIDEO: Shuswap resident finds wide-eyed surprise in chicken coop

Tiny raptor likely in search of a small rodent for supper

While checking his chicken coop, a Shuswap man was surprised to find a pair of keen wide eyes already doing the same.

“He wasn’t really concerned about me at all,” said Jack Hill of the small owl he found perched in the coop next to a heat lamp. Hill was able to get close enough to take a video of the small raptor.

Although the nature of this particular visit was a first for Hill, his property has also been visited by a Great grey owl.

Ed McDonald, president of the Shuswap Naturalist Club of 20 years, identified the little visitor as a Northern Saw-whet owl.

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Identified as a Northern saw-whet owl, this small raptor was found perched in a chicken coop likely looking for its next meal. (Contributed)

According to the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, the Saw-whet got its name after a member of the National Audubon Society mistook it’s call for a barn owl, which is said to resemble a saw being sharpened with a whetstone.

McDonald however describes the owl’s call as more akin to a truck’s backup warning sound. He went on to say it is likely the owl was scoping out its next meal, noting that chicken coops are good places to hunt for rats and mice.

McDonald added that while owls are usually on the prowl for food during the evening or the early morning, daytime hunting is not unheard of.


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