Colima Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium palmarum)

Colima Pygmy Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Glaucidium palmarum | [authority] Nelson, 1901 | [UK] Colima Pygmy Owl | [FR] Chevechette du Colima | [DE] Palmenzwergkauz | [ES] Mochuelo de Colima | [NL] Colima dwerguil


Monotypic species


Members of the genus Glaucidium are very small and tiny owls. They have rounded heads without ear-tufts. Their eyes are yellow. In many species the talons are, in relation to their size, very powerful. The facial disc is not very distinct. Some species have a large dark patch with a pale border on each side of the nape of the neck, looking like false eyes. Many are partly diurnal and sing from exposed perches. These are mostly very tenacious in the hunt, and show little fear, even of approaching humans. Glaucidium is a worldwide genus, containing some 30 species. Most of the Asian species, and some of the African species show physical and behavioural differences that suggest they might be better placed in Athene, and DNA evidence suggests that there is only a distant relationship between the Old World Pygmy Owls and those of the New World.

Physical charateristics

Crown and nape grayish tawny-brown, with extensive whitish to pale buff spotting, and slightly grayer than tawny olive-brown back. Bars on the closed wings are formed by pale cinnamon to buffywhite spots on the outer webs of the primaries and secondaries. Tail with six or seven white to buffy-white bars. Sides of chest and streaking on underparts cinnamon-brown to dark cinnamon-brown.

Listen to the sound of Colima Pygmy Owl

[audio: Pygmy Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 13 cm size max.: 15 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


Middle America : West Mexico. It occurs on the Pacific Slope from central Sonora (foothills east of Hermosillo to central Oaxaca (foothills inland of Puerto Angel) and also in the Balsas drainage of southern
Morelos and northern Guerrero.


Endemic to western Mexico where it occupies a range of habitats, in arid to semihumid conditions, from near sea level to 1500 m elevation


Nests in tree cavity and old Woodpecker nests. Clutch size 2-4 eggs.

Feeding habits

Small as it may be, it is a bold and ferocious little owl that feeds mainly on birds (up to at least twice its own size).


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.
Colima Pygmy Owl status Least Concern



Distribution map

Colima Pygmy Owl distribution range map

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