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Pygmy-OWLS

Order Strigiformes Family Strigidae


Owls are found on all continents except Antarctica. Owls are divided into two families: the typical owls, Strigidae; and the barn-owls, Tytonidae. They range in size from 13-70 cm. Owls do not construct nests, but rather look for a sheltered nesting site or an abandoned nest in trees, underground burrows, or in buildings, barns and caves.

Owls are solitary and nocturnal. They hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds though a few species specialize in hunting fish. Most hunt for prey only in the darkness. Much of the owls' hunting strategy depends on stealth and surprise. They are very quiet in flight plus they have dull colors. Owls have large forward-facing eyes and ear-holes, a hawk-like beak, a flat face, and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye. The facial disc helps to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets, as with other birds, and they must turn their entire head to change views. Owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270 degrees in either direction. The female is usually larger than the male.

Owl species can be found on these web pages:
New World Owls, Old World Owls, Barn Owls, Eagle-Owls, Pygmy-Owls, Scops-Owls


Genus Athene
These are small brown owls with white speckles; yellow eyes; white supercilium.
They are found mainly in the Old World. The Burrowing Owl is found in the Americas.

Owl, Burrowing Athene cunicularia   Found: The Americas
Unlike other owls, the Burrowing Owl prefers to be on the ground. It has brown upperparts, head and wings with white spots; whitish underparts with varying amount of of brown; white supercilium, chin.
Image by: 1, 2) Alan D Wilson - Farm Road Off SR17, Near Othello, Washington   3) Mauricio Mercer - Brazil  4) Cristiano Crolle - Las Gaviotas, Argentina  5) Dick Daniels - Center for Birds of Prey, Charleston, South Carolina  6) Dick - San Diego Zoo  
1) Adult with fledglings  2) Juvenile 


Owl, Little  Athene noctua  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa   Introduced: South Island, New Zealand
The Little Owl has white speckled upperparts; brown-streaked white underparts; white supercilium; yellow eyes.
Image by: 1) Drew Avery  2) Trebol-a 3) Phil McIver - England


Owlet, Forest  Athene blewitti  Found: forests of central India
The Forest Owlet has dark gray-brown upperparts; brown upper-breast; pale lower-breast and belly; band wings and tail with white trailing edges. It is critically endangered.
Image by: 1) Tarique Sani   2) Raju Kasambe


Owlet, Spotted  Athene brama  Found: Asia, Africa
The Spotted Owlet has gray-brown upperparts with white spots; white underparts with brown bars; white neck-band and supercilium.
Image by:  1) J.M. Garg - India  2) Charlie Westerinen near Phnom Pehn, Cambodia  3) Lip Kee



Genus Glaucidium
These small owls are found around the world. Those in the New World are usually termed Pygmy Owls and in the Old World they are called Owlets.  They are very small and have a proportionally large head. They mostly eat insects and other small prey.

Owl, Amazonian Pygmy-  Glaucidium hardyi  Found: South America
Image by: 1) Marcel Holyoak - Peru  2) JCbirder - Peru


Owl,_Andean_Pygmy-  Glaucidium jardinii  Found: northern South America
Similar to: Yungas Pygmy-Owl. Andean Pygmy-Owl's song has 3 to 4 notes per second; Yungas's song has 1 to 2 notes per second.
Image by: 1) Jim Scarff  2) Gunnar_Engblom  3, 4) Nick Athanas - Ecuador
4) Rufous morph


Owl, Austral Pygmy-  Glaucidium nana  Found: Argentina, Chile
The Austral Pygmy-Owl has has brown or rufous upperparts; white underparts with heavy streaking; white supercilium; yellow eyes; 8 or 9 rufous bands on tail.
Similar toFerruginous Pygmy-Owl. Austral Pygmy-Owl is larger and has more bands on tail than Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.
Image by: 1) Joshua Stone - Chile  2) John Spooner  3) Nick Athanas - Argentina


Owl,_Central_American_Pygmy-  Glaucidium griseiceps  Found: Mexico, Central America, Columbia, Ecuador
Similar to: Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl slightly larger than Central American Pygmy-Owl. Their ranges overlay slightly. Central American Pygmy-Owl likes forests; Ferruginous likes open spaces.
Similar to: Tamaulipas Pygmy-Owl. Ranges do not overlap. Range of Central American Pygmy-Owl is south of Tamaulipas Pygmy-Owl's range.
Image by: 1) John_Gerrard_Keulemans  2) Amy_McAndrews  3) David_Rodriguez_Arias - Costa Rica


Owl, Cloud-forest Pygmy-  Glaucidium nubicola  Found: Columbia, Ecuador
The Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl has rufous upperparts with some white spot; multitude of white dots on head; white underparts with chestnut stripes,
Similar to: Least Pygmy Owl. Least Pygmy-Owl is smaller than Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl and has darker upperparts.
Image by: 1) Mark Sharper - Ecuador  2) Bob Cress


Owl, Colima Pygmy  Glaucidium palmarum  Found: Mexico
Image by:  1) Ron Knight  2) Rebecca Houseman


Owl, Costa Rican Pygmy-  Glaucidium costaricanum Found: Costa Rica, Panama
Image:  1) Michael Woodruff - Costa Rica  2) Nick Athanas - Costa Rica


Owl, Cuban Pygmy  Glaucidium siju  Found: Cuba
Image by: 1) Shawn McCready - Cuba  2) Jerry Oldenettel - Cuba


Owl, Eurasian Pygmy-  Glaucidium passerinum  Found: Europe, Asia
The Eurasian Pygmy-Owl has reddish-brown to grayish-brown upperparts with white spots; off-white underparts with dark streaks; white suoercilium; white partial ring around back of neck; yellow eyes,
Image by: 1) Artur Mikotajewski  2) Sergey Yeliseev  3) Stefan Berndtsson


Owl, Ferruginous PygmyGlaucidium brasilianum   Found: North America (Arizona), Central America, South America
The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl has gray brown or rufous upperparts (subspecies dependent); streaked crown; white underparts with heavy streaking; white supercilium; yellow eyes; blackish-brown tail with 4 - 6 white bands (may be lacking in rufous phase).
Similar toAustral Pygmy-Owl. Austral Pygmy-Owl is larger and has more bands on tail than Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.
Similar to: Central American Pygmy-Owl. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl slightly larger than Central American Pygmy-Owl. Their ranges overlay slightly. Central American Pygmy-Owl likes forests; Ferruginous likes open spaces.
Similar to: Northern Pygmy-Owl. Northern Pygmy-Owl has a spotted crown while Ferruginous has a streaked crown. If found in California and northward then it is a Northern Pygmy-owl.
Similar to: Peruvian Pygmy-Owl. The Peruvian Pygmy-Owl has a more rapid call than the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.
Image by: 1) Pato Garza - Mexico  2) Zac Pholen  3, 7) Nick Athanas - Ecuador, Peru  4) Dave Govoni - Belize   5) Dominic Sherony   6) Alastair Rae - Mexico  
1, 2, 3) Rufous morph  4 - 7) Brown morph


Owl, Least Pygmy-  also  East Brazilian Pygmy-Owl  Glaucidium minutissimum  Found: Brazil, Paraguay
The Least Pygmy-Owl dark brown upperparts with white marks; brownish-gray head with multitude of white dots; white underparts with chestnut streaks.
Similar to: Cloud-forest Pygmy Owl. Least Pygmy-Owl is smaller than Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl and has darker upperparts.
Image by: 1) Marcel Holyoak - Brazil  2) skydiver_hh  3) Nick Athanas - Brazil


Owl, Northern Pygmy-  Glaucidium gnoma  Found: western North America, Central America
The Northern Pygmy-Owl has brown upperparts with some white spots; brown head with a multitude of white spots; white underparts with brown streaks; white supercilum.
Similar to: Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. Northern Pygmy-Owl has a spotted crown while Ferruginous has a streaked crown. If found in California and northward then it is a Northern Pygmy-owl.
Image by: 1) Sea Turtle - Oregon  2) Guy Monty - British Columbia 3) Ken-ich iUeda - California  4) David Mitchell


Owl,_Pernambuco_Pygmy-  Glaucidium mooreorum  Found: eastern Brazil
Image by: 1) Totodu74  2) hbw.com


Owl,_Peruvian_Pygmy-  Glaucidium peruanum  Found: Ecuador, Peru
The Peruvian Pygmy-Owl has brown upperparts; white supercilium.
Similar to: Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. The Peruvian Pygmy-Owl has a more rapid call than the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.
Image by: 1) Francesco Veronesi - Ecuador  2) Gunnar_Engblom - Peru  3, 4) Nick Athanas - Ecuador


Owl,_Subtropical_Pygmy-  Glaucidium parkeri  Found:
The Subtropical Pygmy-Owl has brown upperparts; white barring on secondaries; grayish-brown crown with fine white spots; white underparts with broad brown stripes; short tail. It has a rufous morph.
Similar to: Andean Pygmy-Owl and Yungas Pygmy-Owl. These species are found at higher elevations than the Subtropical Pygmy-Owl. Subtropical has a shorter tail and fewer markings on the mantle.
Image by: 1) Daniel_Lane


Owl,_Tamaulipas_Pygmy-  Glaucidium sanchezi  Found: northeastern Mexico
Similar to: Central American Pygmy-Owl. Ranges do not overlap. Range of Central American Pygmy-Owl is south of Tamaulipas Pygmy-Owl's range.
Image by: 1) Amy_McAndrews


Owl,_Yungas_Pygmy-  Glaucidium bolivianum  Found: Bolivia, Peru
The Yungas Pygmy-Owl has brown, rufous, and gray morphs.
Similar to: Andean Pygmy-Owl. Andean Pygmy-Owl's song has 3 to 4 notes per second; Yungas's song has 1 to 2 notes per second.
Image by: 1) Nick Athanas - Peru


Owlet, African Barred  Glaucidium capense  Found: Africa
The African Barred Owlet has brown upperparts with faint barring and white shoulder stripe; white supercilium; heavily spotted on lower-breast, belly; gray-brown face; brown tail with white vermiculation.
Similar to: Pearl Spotted Owlet. African Barred Owlet has heavily spotted underparts; Pearl Spotted Owlet has little spotting on underparts.
Image by: 1) Brian Ralphs - Mozambikque  2) Francesco Veronesi - Namibia  3) Miros Photography - Zambia  4)  Lillac Breasted Roller - Botswana


Owlet,_Albertine  Glaucidium albertinum  Found: DR Congo, Rwanda
Image by: 1) jan_veenstra


Owlet, Asian Barred  Glaucidium cuculoides  Found: Asia
The Asian Barred Owlet has rufous upperparts with white spots; brown head with light barring; white underparts with rufous breast patches and streaks.
Similar to: Collared Owlet. Asian Barred Owlet is larger than Collared Owlet. Asian Barred Owlet has barring on head.
Image by: 1) Hyashi Haka  2) JJ Harrisonin - Nakhon Sawan,Thailand


Owlet,_Chestnut  Glaucidium castaneum  Found: Cameroon, DR Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Uganda
Image by: 1) Biodiversity_Heritage_Library


Owlet,_Chestnut-backed  Glaucidium castanonotum also  Glaucidium castanotum   Found: Sri Lanka
The Chestnut-backed Owlet has chestnut brown upperparts, wing coverts; brown facial disk, upper-breast; white lower-breast and belly with dark streaks; yellow eyes.
Image by: 1) David Cook - Sri Lanka  2) Shanaka_Aravinda


Owlet, Collared  also  Collared Pygmy Owl  Glaucidium brodiei  Found: Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia
The Collared Owlet has rufous upperparts with white spots; white underparts with 2 rufous breast patches; streaks emenate from the breast patches and lead to the belly.
Similar to: Asian Barred Owlet. Asian Barred Owlet is larger than Collared Owlet. Asian Barred Owlet has barring on head.
Image by: 1, 2) Hyashi Haka


Owlet, Javan  Glaucidium castanopterum  Found: Indonesia
Im
age by: 1) Nicolas Le Jeune  2) Anthony Overs


Owlet, Jungle   Glaucidium radiatum  Found: Sri Lanka
The Jungle Owlet has dark brown upperparts with white barring; brown underparts with white barring; white vertical patch on underparts; yellow eyes; greenish bill.
Image by: 1)   Srikant Rao   2) gkrishna63  3) Sumeet Moghe


Owlet, Pearl-spotted Glaucidium perlatum  Found: Africa
The Pearl-spotted Owlet has brown upperparts with numerous white dots; white underparts with brown streaks; yellow eyes.
Similar to: African Barred Owlet. African Barred Owlet has heavily spotted underparts; Pearl Spotted Owlet has little spotting on underparts.
Image by: 1, 2 Arno Meintjes 3) MarnixR  4) Dave Curtis - Kenya


Owlet,_Red-chested  Glaucidium tephronotum  Found: Africa
The Red-chested Owlet has dark brown upperparts; dark gray head, neck; rufous-washed upper-breast; whitish rest underparts with stripes; streaked rufous flanks; yellow bill.
Image by: 1) John_Gerrard_Keulemans  2) Nik_Borrow


Owlet,_Sjostedt's  Glaucidium sjostedti  Found: central Africa
Image by: 1) Julie_DeWilde



Genus Xenoglaux - 1 species

Owlet,_Long-whiskered  Xenoglaux loweryi  Found: area of Abra Patricia in northern Peru
The Long-whiskered Owlethas extremely long facial "whiskers", stubby wings, and a short tail.
Image by: 1) Shachar_Alterman 2) Nick Athanas - Peru







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