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Colima Pygmy-Owl
A Reference for North and Central American Owls

 The Colima Pygmy-Owl is a very small owl about the size of an Elf Owl (considered the world's smallest owl). It is certainly as bold and ferocious as its larger cousin the Northern Pygmy-Owl. Here you can find photos, recordings and information to help identify and enjoy this beautiful owl. The Field Notes section includes a Central American range map and information on nesting, habitat, description and classification.  To jump immediately to any of these sections use the Page Jump Links below.

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Photo Gallery
Additional photos
Audio Recordings
Field Notes and Range Map 

Streaming Real Video Clips

Colima Pygmy-Owl Video

Colima Pygmy-Owl
Panuco Rd
Sinaloa, Mexico


 

PHOTO GALLERY
Click on the thumbnail to bring up each of the Owl photos.

Colima Pygmy-Owl Photo

77K

Colima Pygmy-Owl Photo

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Colima Pygmy-Owl Photo

64K

Panuco Rd. off
Durango Hwy, Mexico
March 2004

Panuco Rd. off
Durango Hwy, Mexico
June 2001
Panuco Rd. off
Durango Hwy, Mexico
June 2001

Colima Pygmy-Owl Photo

28K

Colima Pygmy-Owl Photo

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Colima Pygmy-Owl Photo

72K
Panuco Rd. off
Durango Hwy, Mexico
March 2004
Panuco Rd. off
Durango Hwy, Mexico
June 2001
La Bajada
Mexico
June 2001

Additional Photos

Photo 1
62K

Photo 2
66K

Photo 3
60K

RECORDINGS
Click on the sonograms to bring up each of the recordings.

Sound File
64K

Panuco Rd. off  Durango Hwy,
Mexico
March 2004

Sound File
59K

La Bajada,
 Mexico
June 2001

This is a very unique call that is heard when the owl is in flight. This is associated with alarm or territorial disputes, not often heard and usually very late in the afternoon.

This is the primary advertising call of this owl. These evenly spaced hoots come in sets, like this one, with 10-15 sec. gaps between the sets. This is the most common call heard in the field.

FIELD NOTES and Range Map
Colima Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium palmarum

Range Map The Colima Pygmy-Owl has recently been separated from Least Pygmy-Owl on the basis of vocalizations. This is an extremely small owl that compares in size with the Elf Owl (considered the world's smallest owl). Like the other Pygmy-Owls, it is a diurnal owl although mostly crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk), and is rarely seen and/or heard at night. This small owl is unlikely to be confused with any other owl, in its Mexican range, except possibly the Mountain Pygmy-Owl. These two owls can be very similar, although the Mountain Pygmy-Owl is slightly larger, but are readily separated by voice.
The Colima Pygmy-Owl has similar markings to the Northern Pygmy including white tail bars and "false eyes" (black patches outlined in white) on the nape of its neck. Its coloration is much more cinnamon-brown than the Northern Pygmy and has fewer white markings on its back; it is noticeably smaller, has bright yellow-orange feet, heavier chest streaks, and its head is lighter in color than the rest of its body. Like other Pygmy-Owls, it also lacks ear tufts. It ranges from sea level to about 4500 ft. in elevation.
 Small as it may be, it is a bold and ferocious little owl that feeds mainly on birds (up to at least twice its own size). It lays 2 to 4 eggs in May and nests in a cavity or woodpecker hole. Length is 5 1/2 - 6" (slightly smaller than a House Finch) and the sexes are alike.

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