Red-chested Owlet (Glaucidium tephronotum)

Red-chested Owlet

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Glaucidium tephronotum | [authority] Sharpe, 1875 | [UK] Red-chested Owlet | [FR] Chevechette a pieds jaunes | [DE] Rotbrust-Kauz | [ES] Mochuelo Pechirrojo | [NL] Roodborstdwerguil


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

Very small owlet. Facial disc ligth grey with whitish markings, short white eyebrows. Head and neck dark grey and dusky brown back and wings. Tail long with 3 faint bars, upper breast and flank rufous wash, rest of underparts whitish with the belly sided streaked rufous. Yellow iris and bill.

Listen to the sound of Red-chested Owlet

[audio: Owlet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 17 cm size max.: 18 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  


Africa : West, Central


Dense primary forest and forest-scrub mosaic. Found in lowlands and montane forest up to 2150m


Nests in a tree cavity, clutch size 2-4 eggs

Feeding habits

Diet consists of mainly insects caught in the canopy. Also small vertebrates. Favors edge of forest clearings, usually hunts at night.

Video Red-chested Owlet


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


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 has not been quantified, 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.
Red-chested Owlet status Least Concern


Resident and sedentary, young show some dispersal.

Distribution map

Red-chested Owlet distribution range map

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