Unspotted Saw-whet Owl (aegolius ridgwayi)

Unspotted Saw-whet Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] aegolius ridgwayi | [authority] Alfaro, 1905 | [UK] Unspotted Saw-whet Owl | [FR] Nyctale unie | [DE] Ridgwaykauz | [ES] Lechucita Parda (Cr) | [NL] Ridgway’s Zaaguil


Monotypic species


The genus gavidae is formed by five species exclusively from the Northern Hemisphere. All of them are rather large birds, breeding in the arctic and boreal zone of Eurasia and North America. Although ranges overlap a great deal, identification is pretty straightforward. The bills are so distinctive that it is easy to tell them apart, with the exeption of the Pacific and Arctic Divers which are rather similar.

Physical charateristics

Bill black. Eyes yellow. Facial disc (circle of feathers around the eyes) brown, with a central area clearer and edged white. Back reddish brown. Face reddish brown, darker on the outside, surrounded by a thin white facial disc. Underparts brown. With white markings on wings and sometimes tail.

Listen to the sound of Unspotted Saw-whet Owl

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/STRIGIFORMES/Strigidae/sounds/Unspotted Saw-whet Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 18 cm size max.: 20 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 5  
      eggs max.: 6  


Middle America : South Mexico to Panama


This nocturnal bird breeds in open mountain forests, in both the cloud forest and the higher oak woodland


Almost nothing is known about their reproduction. No nest has been described, it lays in March between 5 and 6 eggs, probably using a woodpecker nest.

Feeding habits

It eats mice, squirrels, bats and small birds, occasionally frogs, probably insects.


Although this species may have a small range, it is not believed to 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.
It is a resident breeder in the highlands of Central America from southern Mexico south to western Panama, mainly above 2500 m. it has occasionally been considered conspecific with the Northern Saw-whet Owl.
Unspotted Saw-whet Owl status Least Concern


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Unspotted Saw-whet Owl distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *