Tales of the Northern Saw-whet Owl


June 26, 7:00 PM at Farrand Hall

Mary Freeman will take us on a journey through the San Gabriel Mountains and show us one of it’s most charming residents, the Northern Saw-whet Owl.

During the five years of the Los Angeles County Breeding Bird Atlas Survey, data on the Northern saw-whet owl was sorely lacking. In response, Mary Freeman set out to study the status and distribution of this little-understood owl in the changing San Gabriel Mountains. On Wednesday, June 26th at 7:30 pm, you can hear Freeman give an overview of her adventures tracking the saw-whets and other owls and wildlife in the hills and mountains around Los Angeles.

Freeman is a native of L.A. and has been leading birding trips since the late 70s. She likes to bird by ear, has a BA in art design, illustrates birds, designs jewelry and has tracked owls all over the Americas. But her greatest passion is surveying saw-whets in our local mountains.

In The Western Tanager –the newsletter of Los Angeles Audubon– Freeman writes, “Saw-whet owls breed along the Crest from April to July, after which they disperse to begin setting up territories. Their calls can be heard each month of the year – especially October through May. Numerous detections have been made during the fall and winter showing they are resident even at higher elevations.

We have attempted banding a number of times, but so far have been rewarded with a single female Saw-whet.

We will attempt to learn site fidelity and distance traveled should we be fortunate enough to have a recapture of a banded owl.”

Photo by Mary Freeman.