Small diurnal owl of forests of the mountainous western US and interior Mexico. Scarce and often difficult to find, but sometimes perches conspicuously. Brown and white overall with yellow eyes and bill. Sometimes cocks tail up or sideways. Look for large black eye-spots on nape when facing away. Feeds mainly on small birds and mammals. Different populations give slightly different versions of a series of single or paired toots. Northern Saw-whet Owl is fairly similar in plumage, but never perches out in the open in daylight.