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Glaucidium costaricanum

Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl

  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S

Glaucidium costaricanum

Savegre Lodge, near San Gerardo, Costa Rica; 12 July 2008 © Michael Woodruff

The center of distribution of Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl is the highlands of central Costa Rica, but the range of the species extends east to western Panama. This small owl only recently was recognized as a distinct species. For many years, it was classified as a subspecies of Andean Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium jardinii), but analysis of its vocalizations and genetic data both indicate that it is more closely related to the Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma). Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl occurs at higher elevations than the two other species of pygmy-owls in Costa Rica and Panama, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) and Central American Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium griseiceps). In common with other species of pygmy-owls, this species is partially diurnal, and consumes both invertebrates and small vertebrates. Otherwise very little is known about the biology of this owl. Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl can be fairly common, and so, despite its small geographic range, it is not considered to be threatened.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S. 2012. Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium costaricanum), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Montane evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Midstory/Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Small vertebrates and large arthropods
  • Sociality:
  • Mating System:Unknown
  • Nest Form:Cavity
  • Clutch: 3 - 3
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern