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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web An orphaned northern saw-whet owl returned to the wilds of Anchorage on Sunday after two months in the care of Bird Treatment and Learning Center. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, 24 May 2022 In a social media post on Tuesday, the Fairfax County Police Department said its animal protection officers rescued a northern saw-whet owl on Nov. 17 in the Oakton area. Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2021 The bald eagle stood in stark contrast to the tiny saw-whet owl the organization also displayed. Chris M. Worrell, cleveland, 16 Dec. 2021 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,, 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,, 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 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1834, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near saw-whet owl

Cite this Entry

“Saw-whet owl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

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