Elf Owl Biology
A Reference for North and Central American Owls
Name: Elf Owl – Micrathene whitneyi
Other Common Names: Whitney’s Elf Owl (whitneyi); Sanford’s Elf Owl (sanfordi); Texas Elf Owl (idonea).
Subspecies: There are four recognized races of Elf Owl, two of which that have ranges that cross into North America. The other two races are restricted to the tip of Baja California and the small island Socorro, south-west from the tip of Baja California.
M. w. idonea is resident in southern Texas. It ranges from the southern tip of Texas to Central Mexico (Puebla to Guanajuato).
M. w. whitneyi breeds in the S. W. USA but migrates south into Mexico for the winter. It is found from S. E. California (decreasing in frequency) and the extreme south of Nevada across C. Arizona, S. W. New Mexico, and W. Texas.
M. w. sanfordi is resident on the southern end of Baja California.
M. w. graysoni is found only on the island Socorro, south-west from the tip of Baja California.
Measurements and Weights:
Wingspan: 13 1/2 – 16 1/2 in.
Length: 5 – 5 3/4 in.
Tail: 1.8 – 2.1 in.
Average Weight: Male: 1 1/2 oz.
Average Weight: Female: 1 1/2 oz.