Either of two small brown-and-white owls, Aegolius acadicus of North America or A. ridgwayi of Central America, having no ear tufts.
A very small North American forest owl (Aegolius acadicus) with brown-and-white plumage.
Origin of saw-whet-owl
- From the resemblance of the owls' calls to the sound made in sharpening a saw
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition