The Pygmy Owls are members of the genus Glaucidium. Several of these species are commonly referred to as "owlets."
- African Barred Owlet, Glaucidium capense
- Albertine Owlet, Glaucidium albertinum
- Amazonian Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium hardyi
- Andean Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium jardinii
- Asian Barred Owlet, Glaucidium cuculoides
- Austral Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium nanum
- Cape Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium hoskinsii
- Central American Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium griseiceps
- Chestnut-backed Owlet, Glaucidium castanonotum
- Chestnut Owlet, Glaucidium castaneum
- Cloud-forest Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium nubicola
- Colima Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium palmarum
- Collared Owlet, Glaucidium brodiei
- Costa Rican Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium costaricanum
- Cuban Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium siju
- Eurasian Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium passerinum
- Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium brasilianum
- Guatemalan Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium cobanense
- Javan Owlet, Glaucidium castanopterum
- Jungle Owlet, Glaucidium radiatum
- Least Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium minutissimum
- Mountain Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium gnoma
- Northern Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium californicum
- Pearl-spotted Owlet, Glaucidium perlatum
- Pernambuco pygmy-owl, Glaucidium mooreorum
- Peruvian Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium peruanum
- Red-chested Owlet, Glaucidium tephronotum
- Sjostedt's Owlet, Glaucidium sjostedti
- Subtropical Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium parkeri
- Tamaulipas Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium sanchezi
- Tucuman Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium tucumanum
- Yungas Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium bolivianum
Diet / Feeding
Pygmy Owls mostly feed on insects (moths, spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, locusts, mantids, fly larvae, cicadas and centipedes), and occasional small rodents, birds and lizards.
Pygmy Owls are the smallest owls in the world - the size varying by species.
Their large, forward-facing eyes are immobile within their sockets. For this reason, owls need flexible necks, as they have to turn the entire head to change views. They have the same number of vertebrae in their necks as most mammals and can move their heads 270 degrees in either direction (nearly all the way around!). Most other bird species have their eyes on the sides of their heads enabling them to see sideways and, to some extent, backwards. Owls, on the other hand, have both eyes in the front which enhances their depth perception.
Owls are unable to clearly see anything within a few inches of their eyes. On the other hand, their far vision - particularly in low light conditions - is incredibly good. The color of the eyes tells us a lot about their habits; those with dark brown or black eyes are nocturnal hunters; those with yellow eyes mostly hunt during the day, and those with orange eyes hunt at night and during the day.
To protect their eyes, Owls have 3 eyelids: one upper and one lower eyelid, and a nictitating membrane. The upper lid closes when the owl blinks, and the lower closes when the Owl sleeps. The third eyelid, the nictitating membrane, is a thin layer of tissue that closes diagonally across the eye, from the inside to the outside. The purpose of these membranes is to clean, moisten and protect the surface of the eyes.
Nesting / Breeding
Pygmy Owls are cavity nesters, often taken advantage of existing tree cavities - often excavated by other cavity-nesting birds / animals.
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