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Ferruginous Pygmy Owl
Includes Ridgway's Pygmy Owl; Tucuman Pygmy Owl
15â€“19 cm (6-7Â˝ in)
As with most Pygmy-Owls, there are dark areas on the back of the head imitating an extra pair of eyes, most frequently with pale markings above the dark. Eyes are yellow, bill is greenish yellow, and toes are pale with especially tips of claws dark.
A red morph of the tucumanum form was described as: it's upper-parts were unmarked, except for some very fine whitish streaking on the forehead, crown and sides of the face, false eyes, whitish marks on the scapulars and about six reddish-buff tail bands. The breast was conspicuously white, with two upper central dark spots. Otherwise streaked below. Eyes and bill were yellow.
 Similar species
Where overlapping with Northern Pygmy Owl they usually segregate by elevation with Northern at higher elevation. Ferruginous Pygmy Owl shows no pale collar around the neck, and tail is mostly longer than similar species.
In the past, Austral Pygmy-Owl has been considered part of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. Konig et al.2 additionally have split subspecies ridgwayi (including cactorum and the not universally recognized saturatum) as the full species Ridgway's Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium ridgwayi which would include the birds from Panama to the USA; this has not been recognized by any of the world-wide checklists. Tucuman Pygmy-Owl (ssp tucumanum) is also sometimes split as full species.
Thirteen subspecies are recognized by Clements1.
A wide variety of habitats from primary lowland forest to coastal scrub and semi-open areas.
Crepuscular, with some activity at both day and night (especially moon-lit nights). May even spontaneously sing in the middle of the day and is easily provoked to do so by imitation. If seen out in the open in the middle of the day, small birds tend to mob it.
Their diet includes eggs and chicks of birds, smaller mammals and other vertebrates, and insects. In South America known to take birds up to the size of thrushes and Eared Dove (latter especially by larger southern subspecies, but even further north considered a species capable of catching prey larger than itself due to its strong feet). In the north considered a species that feeds mostly based on opportunity. Much of the hunting takes place inside forest with food taken both in trees and near the ground. Frequently hunts from a perch.
Nest in pre-existing hollows such as tree cavity, Hornero nest, or cavities in walls or banks. A clutch of two to five white eggs gets incubated by the female, with the male providing her food. Incubation is a little less than a month, and it takes almost another month for the young to fledge.
Full song is a monotonous series of "toots" or whistles with about 3 per second which is rather easily imitated. Duetting can occur especially early in breeding season with the song of the female higher pitched than the song of the male. Other sounds including series of ticks and chirps can occur, more frequently given by female.
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