DECEMBER: Critters in the Rivers

December 2019

The 2019 ‘Living with the Methow River Calendar offers monthly information about our river habitat. It also showcases students’ artwork created in Methow Arts Education Programs after learning about our rivers from biologists. Learn more about our critters by visiting some the following sites: Twisp Ponds Discovery CenterCottonwood Trail, The Winthrop Barn Trail, and Whitefish Island.
(This month’s artwork by 6th grade student, Dashe McCabe.)


Saw-whet owls are primarily cavity nesters and use old woodpecker holes. They are also known to nest in dense vegetation when tree cavities aren’t available. They are found in a variety of woodland habitats including riparian forests.

The tiny Northern Saw-whet Owl is almost as diminutive as the Elf Owl and Peru’s Long-whiskered Owlet. Named for its repeated tooting whistle, some say the bird sounds like a saw being sharpened on a whetstone. It has bright yellow eyes and a large, rounded head without ear tufts.

Saw-whet Owls sometimes fall victim to collisions, and the mature forest habitat they favor is increasingly lost. In addition, habitat shifts caused by climate change may affect the southern range limit of this species in the future.

The Living with the Methow Calendar is available each year at Methow Arts and numerous location. These are free to the public with funding and support is provided by Washington Department of Ecology and Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Additional support from Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, MRC partners, Bureau of Reclamation, the Methow Valley School District, Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, Methow Valley Fund, PSFA, Icicle Fund, and generous members of Methow Arts.