Distribution in the Americas
Austral Pygmy-Owl occurs in southern South America, from central Chile and west central Argentina south to Tierra del Fuego. The northernmost distributional limit in Chile is not well documented, and at least some of the population may move farther north in the nonbreeding season (Jaramillo 2003).
In Chile, Austral Pygmy-Owl occurs from sea level up to 2000 m (Jaramillo 2003).
Austral Pygmy-Owl inhabits forests and thickets, parks in the cities and farmland with scattered trees or small groves (Housse 1945, Goodall et al. 1957, Johnson 1967, Jiménez and Jaksic 1989, König and Weick 2008, Ibarra et al. 2012). In central Chile, Austral Pygmy-Owl has been reported in evergreen shrublands (particularly in ravines, Barros 1949); in southern Chile, in temperate beech forests; and in southernmost Chile, in Nothofagus forests (Humphrey et al. 1970, Markham 1971, Texera 1973, Venegas and Jory 1979, Jiménez and Jaksic 1989, Ibarra et al. 2012). In Argentina, it is reported to inhabit Nothofagus forests (Narosky and Izurieta 1987) and Patagonian scrub/steppe (Olrog and Capllonch 1986, Santillán et al. 2010).