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Glaucidium griseiceps

Central American Pygmy-Owl

  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Polytypic 3 Subspecies


Glaucidium griseiceps

Bonampak, Chiapas, Mexico; 4 June 2009 © Amy McAndrews

Central American Pygmy-Owl is a newly-recognized species. Previously these populations were classified as subspecies of the Least Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium minutissimum), although now the name Least Pygmy-Owl is applied only to the birds in eastern South America. The Central American Pygmy-Owl is restricted to the lowlands of the Caribbean slope between eastern Mexico and Costa Rica, but in Panama it occurs on both the Caribbean and Pacific slopes, and the distribution extends south locally to western Ecuador. This species overlaps geographically with the slightly larger Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum), but Central American Pygmy-Owl is more closely associated with humid forest and adjacent tall second-growth, rather than the more open areas preferred by Ferruginous. The song of Central American is a short series of hollow hooting notes. As is typical of Glaucidium, Central American Pygmy-Owl is partially diurnal and hunts for invertebrates and small vertebrates, but there is very little information available about its biology.

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Recommended Citation

. 2011. Central American Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium griseiceps), 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)
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  • IUCN Status:Least Concern