Northern Saw-Whet Owl

Aegolius acadicus

The northern saw-whet owl was given its name to capture the resemblance of its call to the sharpening of a saw on a whet stone. European colonizers discovered the species in the former colony Acadia (now Nova Scotia), and this origin remains present in the Latinized name for the owl, Aegolius acadicus.


This small owl’s plumage features a complex set of markings that help it blend in with its habitat. Its upper parts are overall brown—sometimes reddish- or greyish-brown— and are streaked with white on the crown and the nape of the neck. Its back, wing and tail feathers have white spots. Noticeably lighter in colour, its under-parts are mostly white with broad brownish or reddish vertical streaks…

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