Pygmy Owl

Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Glaucidium
Species: gnoma

La. strix, strigis  owl
La. forma  form, shape, kind
Gr. glaukos  blue, grey
Gr. glaux  little owl
La. gnoma  spirit of the mines


Pygmy Owl, Allan Brooks, Birds of Western Canada, P.A.Taverner, 1926
Allan Brooks

About 6 1/2" long. Dark brown upper parts with circular white spots. A collar of mixed blackish brown and white around the back of the neck. White throat. Mottled brown band on the breast. Brown and white barred tail. Black streaks on gray white underside.

Inhabits forests (usually coniferous) from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast from Mexico to British Columbia and Alberta. Similar Pygmy Owl species inhabit northern Europe and South America.


USGS Pigmy Owl Map


Builds nests of a few twigs and feathers in natural or abandoned tree cavities up to seventy five feet high and in nest boxes.

Lays three to six white eggs which hatch which after about one month incubation and young leave the nest in about another month.

Night hunter of small rodents, reptiles and insects.  Swift jerky short flights, often from tree to tree.

The Pygmy Owl Nestbox (same as for Saw-whet Owl, Lewis Woodpecker Flicker, and Grackle) has a 7" by 7" floor, 16" inside ceiling, 2 1/2" diameter entrance hole located 14" above the floor and ventilation openings.

Assemble with corrosion resistant screws and fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes.  Secure hinged roof  with shutter hooks for easy access and safety when working at heights.

Mount out of reach (10 feet or higher) near woodland edges or clearings. Place some wood chips on the floor.

Nestbox for Woodpeckers, Owls & Grackle
Pygmy Owl Nestbox Plans


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