Saw-whet

Aegolius acadicusEleven owls, from five species, were tallied during the Kings County Christmas Bird Count a week ago. Pretty impressive! Here’s one of the two Northern Saw-whets (Aegolius acadicus).Aegolius acadicusThis is the smallest (8″ length, 17″ wingspan), and probably the most common, owl in the northeast. The bird’s common name is a real throwback: the tooting call of the animal is said to resemble the sound of a saw being sharpened on a whet-stone. “Saw-filer” is a variation. Very few people sharpen saws today, so the comparison may be moot; but if you’ve ever seen a submarine movie, the bird’s sound is very much like the ping of sonar.

All of my owl adventures are found in the archives.

2 Responses to “Saw-whet”


  1. 1 westerner54 December 29, 2014 at 10:54 am

    You’ve had some grand owl adventures – I’m jealous! Love all the photos of owls behind foliage.


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