elf owl

noun
a small, insectivorous owl, Micrathene whitneyi, of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

Origin:
1885–90, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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elf owl

(Micrathene whitneyi), tiny bird of prey of the family Strigidae (order Strigiformes) of Mexico and the southwestern United States. It is the smallest owl and is about the size of a sparrow. In the cactus deserts, elf owls are among the most common birds, but they also inhabit forested areas, dry grasslands, and wet savanna. They nest in holes in cacti or trees and hunt insects at night. Elf owls have round heads, which are large in proportion to the body, and big yellow eyes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Numerous species of raptors and owls inhabit the monument, including the elf owl and the western screech owl.
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