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Colorado Police Question Juvenile Owl Blocking Road

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Deputies in Boulder County, Colorado, ran across possibly the most adorable hardened criminal ever while patrolling the dirt roads near the Rainbow Lakes Campground. It was a young Northern Saw-whet owl standing in the middle of the road.

Deputy Sophie Berman spoke to the offending raptor, who simply responded to Berman’s greetings and questioning with clicks.

Eventually, the juvenile delinquent backed down and flew away, regretfully without revealing any information, like, as one Twitter commenter wanted to know, how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

The Sheriff’s department replied, “The owl wouldn’t give anything up.”

Northern Saw-Whet owls do not usually appear during the day – they are almost completely nocturnal, and depend on their plumage for camouflage for protection – when in danger, they tend to freeze or stretch their bodies out to look like tree branches. The name comes from early European settlers in Nova Scotia (Northern Saw-Whets have a pretty wide range, all across North America). These early settlers thought that this owl’s calls sounded like someone sharpening a saw blade with a whetstone.

Put that way, those adorable noises actually sounds a little threatening. LOOK OUT, DEPUTY!

Northern Saw-whet owls

You came to the wrong neighborhood, Bermen
Image: Kathy & sam