Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (species: Glaucidium brasilianum) in US Lower 48 Birds (Gaia Guide)
Glaucidium brasilianum
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl

©Sky Jacobs: Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum)

©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo: Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum)

©pato garza: Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae
Genus Glaucidium
Species Glaucidium brasilianum



Distinguishing features

It is small and stocky with disproportionately large talons. The crown has elongated white/buff spots or streaks, the wing coverts have white spots, and the underparts are heavily streaked white. There are prominent white supercilia above the facial disc. There are two eye spots on the nape.

Otherwise, its overall color is highly variable, ranging from grey-brown with a black-and-white barred tail to rich rufous with a uniform rufous tail. Sexes are similar with females slightly larger and often more reddish. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 18 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Up to 41 cm



Distribution and habitat preferences

It in south-central Arizona in the United States, south through Mexico and Central America, to South America intoBolivia, Paraguay and Argentina.

In Central America and South America, it is the most widely distributed pygmy owl and is probably one of the most numerous owl species in those areas. It is found in a wide range of semi-open wooded habitats in these areas. (Wikipedia)

Audio recordings


Had been whistling for Ferruginous Pygmy owl as part of the CBC, this bird was extremely responsive and followed us up canyon as we would try to leave it behind and attract other species.

© David Vander Pluym


crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk)   They often hunt by day though.


It hunts a variety of birds, lizards, mammals, and insects. (Wikipedia)

Web resources