Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium mooreorum

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The Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl is a northeast Brazilian endemic, apparently confined to the state of the same name, and one of the most poorly known of all Neotropical birds. It was described to science as recently as 2002, based on two specimens collected in Saltinho Biological Reserve in 1980, and the species is speculated to already be on the brink of extinction. Our extremely sparse knowledge of this pygmy-owl suggests that it is confined to lowland forest. Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl differs from other Glaucidium in its overall paler coloration, size, and voice; the song is a short phrase of 5–7 notes. Remarkably, and fortuitously, its voice had already been sound recorded as long ago as 1990, and it has been suggested that the species is most vocal in April and May, although this would perhaps be surprising if true, as these months lie just outside the breeding season for most bird species in this region of Brazil. There have been no known sightings since 2001, and targeted field surveys of localities in Pernambuco and the adjacent state of Alagoas since 2004 have failed to relocate the species. Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl is considered to be Critically Endangered according to IUCN criteria. Unsurprisingly, given its recent description and the lack of sight records of the species, the Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl’s life history remains fundamentally unknown.

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
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Recommended Citation

Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium mooreorum), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: