saw-whet owl

noun
\ ˈsȯ-ˌ(h)wet- How to pronounce saw-whet owl (audio) \

Definition of saw-whet owl

: a very small harsh-voiced North American owl (Aegolius acadicus) that is largely dark brown above and chestnut streaked with white beneath

called also saw-whet

Examples of saw-whet owl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The adult northern saw-whet owl, from the smallest owl species in the Northeast, was found trapped in the 75-foot tree; its rescue amassed a following on social media (see: #RockefellerOwl). Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 17 Dec. 2020 The red cedar provides respite for a rare wintering bird called the northern saw-whet owl. Sheryl Devore, chicagotribune.com, 24 Dec. 2020 Wild things Consider the recent quandary of a northern saw-whet owl, one of the smallest owls in the U.S., trying to find its way home. Los Angeles Times, 3 Dec. 2020 Long live Rocky, the tiny saw-whet owl that made big news last month when she was found in the giant Christmas tree at Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, 1 Dec. 2020 The Northern saw-whet owl, one of the smallest in North America, was found by workers in New York City inside the 75-foot Norway Spruce that traveled some 170 miles across the state from Oneonta. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, 25 Nov. 2020 Identified at a rehab center as a saw-whet owl, the smallest of its kind in the Northeast, the owl may have hitched a ride all the way from upstate New York. Clarence Page, chicagotribune.com, 24 Nov. 2020 The woman subsequently delivered the bird to an employee at the center, who identified it as a saw-whet owl. New York Times, 18 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saw-whet owl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of saw-whet owl

1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for saw-whet owl

from the supposed resemblance of its cry to the sound made in filing a saw

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About saw-whet owl

Time Traveler for saw-whet owl

Time Traveler

The first known use of saw-whet owl was in 1834

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near saw-whet owl

sawway

saw-whet owl

sawwort

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for saw-whet owl

Cite this Entry

“Saw-whet owl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saw-whet%20owl. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!