Pernambuco Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium mooreorum)

Pernambuco Pygmy Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Glaucidium mooreorum | [authority] Silva, Coelho and Gonzaga, 2002 | [UK] Pernambuco Pygmy Owl | [FR] Chevechette de pernambuco | [DE] Pernambuco Zwergkauz | [ES] Mochuelo de Pernambuco | [NL] Pernambuco dwerguil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Glaucidium mooreorum SA e Brazil


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

A typical Neotropical pygmy-owl of the Glaucidium minutissimum species complex. It has a light grey-chestnut coloured crown and head speckled with conspicuous white spots on the face and head to the lower nape. Has a white collar and white underparts streaked with rufous. Back is chestnut. Tail dark with white spots. Similar spp. it differs from its geographically closest relatives in its overall lighter colouration, size and voice. Voice a short phrase of 5-7 notes

Listen to the sound of Pernambuco Pygmy Owl

[audio: Pygmy Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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South America : East Brazil. Glaucidium mooreorum was newly described from the Reserva Biologica de Saltinho (which covers just 4.8 km2) in Atlantic coastal forest in Pernambuco, Brazil.


It has been recorded in forest up to 150 m but has not been found in other well-surveyed forests in the region at elevations between 400 and 600 m.


No data

Feeding habits

It has been recorded in the canopy of old secondary forest where it was observed eating a cicada


This species is assumed to have a tiny and declining population within an extremely small known range. Surveys have failed to locate it elsewhere, and available habitat continues to decline as a consequence of severe human pressures. As a result it is currently considered Critically Endangered.
There have been no known sightings since 2001, and targeted field surveys of localities in Pernambuco and the adjacent state of Alagoas since 2004 have failed to relocate the species. Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl is considered to be Critically Endangered according to IUCN criteria. Unsurprisingly, given its recent description and the lack of sight records of the species, the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl’s life history remains fundamentally unknown.
Pernambuco Pygmy Owl status Critically Endangered


Presumed resident

Distribution map

Pernambuco Pygmy Owl distribution range map

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