Northern Pygmy-Owl

Glaucidium gnoma

Order

STRIGIFORMES

Family

Barn Owls, Typical Owls (Tytonidae & Strigidae)

Code 4

NOPO

Code 6

GLAGNO

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

PHOTOS 1200

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Northern Pygmy-Owl has a large range, encompassing Guatemala, Honduras, Canada, the United States, and Mexico. This bird prefers subtropical or tropical forest ecosystems as well as dry savannas and permanent freshwater lakes. The global population of this bird is unknown, as it was not recognized by the IUCN until recently, but does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Northern Pygmy-Owl is Least Concern.

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BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

SUMMARY

Overview

Northern Pygmy-Owl: Small owl, upperparts and sides range from brown to white-spotted gray-brown or gray. White underparts have brown stripes. Head is brown or gray with white spots; no ear tufts. Yellow eyes have white eyebrows. White-bordered black spots on back of head resemble a pair of eyes.


Range and Habitat North America

Northern Pygmy-Owl: This species is a resident along the Pacific coast from extreme southern Alaska south to Central America. It is also found along the Rocky Mountains from Idaho south to central Mexico. Its preferred habitats include open coniferous and mixed forests, open fields, wetlands, and logged areas.


Range and Habitat Hawaii


Range and Habitat Palau

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Northern Pygmy-Owl has also been called Pygmy Owl, Rocky Mountain Pygmy Owl, Vancouver Pygmy Owl, California Pygmy Owl, and Dwarf Owl.
  • They can carry prey weighing more than twice their own weight. They often eat only the brains of birds and the soft abdomen of insects.
  • Unlike other North American owls, they begin incubation only after their clutch is complete, so the young tend to hatch over a period of 1 to 2 days, rather than one every 1 to 2 days.
  • A group of owls has many collective nouns, including a "bazaar", "glaring", "parliament", "stooping", and "wisdom" of owls.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

Lang Elliott Sound

Northern Pygmy-Owl 1

  • Title: Northern Pygmy-Owl 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Toot song is a whistled, repetitive "too-too-too-too-too".
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: UT

Northern Pygmy-Owl 2

  • Title: Northern Pygmy-Owl 2
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Toot song.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: UT

Northern Pygmy-Owl 3

  • Title: Northern Pygmy-Owl 3
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Double-noted toot song variation.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: AZ

Similar Sounding Lang

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl 1

  • Title: Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Song is a rapid, monotonous, and repeated hooting.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: AZ

Xeno-Canto Sound

Northern Pygmy-Owl PP1

  • Title: Northern Pygmy-Owl PP1
  • Recordist: Tayler Brooks
  • Description: Rapidly trilled calls given in agitation, followed by "toot" notes.
  • Location: WA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Northern Pygmy-Owl A1

  • Title: Northern Pygmy-Owl A1
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Toot song is a whistled, repetitive "too-too-too-too".
  • Location: CO
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Northern Pygmy-Owl HH1

  • Title: Northern Pygmy-Owl HH1
  • Recordist: Lance A M Benner
  • Description: High-pitched begging calls from a juvenile.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Northern Pygmy-Owl Z1

  • Title: Northern Pygmy-Owl Z1
  • Recordist: Micah Reigner
  • Description: Chatter calls.
  • Location: AZ
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Similar Sounding Xeno-Canto

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Z3

  • Title: Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Z3
  • Recordist: Micah Reigner
  • Description: Song is rapid, monotonous, and repeated hooting.
  • Location: mx
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Northern Saw-whet Owl HH2

  • Title: Northern Saw-whet Owl HH2
  • Recordist: Lance A M Benner
  • Description: Low-pitched "toot" calls.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Voice Text

"too-too too"

Vocalization

Northern Pygmy-Owl: Primary call of the male is a series of repetitive, whistled hoots "too-too-too-too-too-too-too", given at intervals of one to two seconds; also makes a high whinny when bringing food to his mate. Female has a cackling call. Other calls include an ascending staccato series of whistles; when excited, may emit a high-pitched trill.

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Chris Vest

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X