Central American Pygmy-Owl

Glaucidium griseiceps




Barn Owls, Typical Owls (Tytonidae & Strigidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

2 - 4

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

Abandoned woodpecker holes and openings in old termite nests on trees.

Nest Material:

No material added.





Central American Pygmy-Owl: Very small owl, red-brown upperparts, some buff spots in wing, brown-gray on head, two large round black spots on nape with white edging. Red-brown on sides of breast, red-brown streaks on white underparts. Mottled gray and white facial disk, short white eyebrows, no ear tufts. Eyes yellow, bill yellow-buff. Short, rounded wings, short to medium black-gray tail with three white bars. Bare, pink feet. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Central American Pygmy-Owl: Resides year-round in parts of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama. Has small ranges in northwestern parts of Colombia and Ecuador. Found in tropical, humid forests and nearby secondary growth, from sea level to 1,300 meters in elevation.

Breeding and Nesting

Central American Pygmy-Owl: Although the breeding behavior of this species is very poorly documented, it is probably similar to that of other pygmy-owl species whereby two or more white eggs are laid in an old woodpecker hole or other natural tree cavity, and are incubated by the female for 28 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Central American Pygmy-Owl: Eats arthropods, small lizards, and small birds. It forages by waiting on a perch in the day or at night, and then swooping to the ground or vegetation to catch prey with its talons.


Central American Pygmy-Owl: Song is a short series of evenly spaced, high-pitched hoots, followed by a short pause and a longer series of hoots. "Huu-huu, huu-huu-huu-huu-huu". Song may begin with a trill.

Similar Species

Central American Pygmy-Owl: Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl has a longer brown and rufous barred tail on which more bars are visible.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X