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Least Pygmy-owl

Common Name Least Pygmy-owl

Scientific Name Glaucidium minutissimum

Species Birds

Family/Group Owls



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Iris yellow. Head grayish with small white dots, especially on crown; narrow buff nuchal band terminating on either side of nape in small black eye-like spot; otherwise mostly brown above, sometimes with a few small buffy white spots on wings; white below broadly streaked rufous brown across breast, sides, and lower belly; tail black with three narrow white bars and white tip. Immature lacks white dots on head.


Rare to locally uncommon in humid forest in lowlands and lower foothills.

Habits and Behavior

Like other pygmy-owls, abroad both by day and night. Usually found in canopy to middle levels of forest. Call is a short series of three to five poop notes, sometimes more (up to eight or nine) when the bird is excited; compared to Ferruginous, Least's call usually has a slower tempo, and the series is always shorter. A vocalizing bird can often be decoyed in by imitating its easily whistled call.

Further Reading

Nicaragua Animal Guide