Pint-sized owl of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; found in northern forests and western mountains. Prefers areas with conifers and thick understory. Fairly common, but shy and difficult to see. Patterned with brown and white overall, with streaked white forehead and blotchy rusty-brown streaks below. No ear tufts. Migratory, but numbers of migrants fluctuate greatly from year to year. Named for its loud, repetitive whistles that sound like a saw being whetted (sharpened). Also gives a harsher, rising screech. Most similar to less common Boreal Owl. Saw-whet is smaller with streaks (not spots) on forehead and richer orange-brown streaks on underparts.