logo ON SILENT WINGS    Bird Photograpy        
  By Peter S. Weber

Northern Saw-whet Owl

(click image to enlarge)

The Northern Saw-whet Owl (photographed above) can be found roosting in Illinois during migration and in winter. It is typcially seen in small, dense conifer trees, sometimes even in parks and gardens. Its defense upon discovery is to sit still and not fly, leading people to perceive these little owls as "tame."

I took this photograph in November 1996 in Vermilion County, IL..


About On Silent Wings

On Silent Wings is a wildlife stock photography company specializing in bird photos. For owl enthusiasts, there is a page dedicated to just owl photos! Images are available for individual sale, royalty and royalty-free purchase and for limited donations to non-profit organizations for educational or scientific use.

About the Photographer

Peter S. Weber is a Canon Professional photographer and enthusiastic bird watcher. He is an active member of the Illinois Ornithological Society and the American Birding Association.

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About the Name

The name "On Silent Wings" is inspired by the flight of the photographer's favorite family of birds - owls. The most unique application of owl feathers is the comb-like or fimbriate (fringe-like) leading edge of the primary wing feathers referred to as "flutings" or "fimbriae". With a normal bird in flight, air rushes over the surface of the wing, creating turbulence, which makes a gushing noise. With an owl's wing, the comb-like feather edge breaks down the turbulence into little groups called microturbulences. This effectively muffles the sound of the air rushing over the wing surface and allows the owl to fly silently.

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