Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Austral Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium nana)


French: Chevêchette australe German: Australzwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo patagón

Strix nana

P. P. King

, 1827,

Port Famine, Straits of Magellan, Chile


Thought to be closest to G. brasilianum, G. tucumanum and G. peruanum. Sometimes treated as a race of G. brasilianum, but apparently some subtle differences in vocalizations exist; recently shown to differ also in DNA. Monotypic.


Breeds S Chile and S Argentina S to Tierra del Fuego, some wintering farther N in Chile and Argentina. Recently documented year-round in S Argentine Patagonia#R.

Descriptive notes

17–21 cm; male 56–75 g, female 70–100 g. Dimorphic. Grey-brown morph grey-brown overall, with white spotting; crown minutely streaked white, and black... read more


Series of 22–66 short whistles repeated in rapid succession, at about 3 whistles per second,... read more


Warm desert areas, oases and puna, warm shrubland, temperate forest, and cold forest of southern... read more

Food and feeding

Primarily birds, such as Plain-mantled Tit-spinetail (Leptasthenura aegithaloides), White-crested Elaenia (Elaenia albiceps... read more


Lays from Sept–Nov (austral spring). Nest in hollowed tree trunk, tree crotch, road bank, ground cavity, rodent burrow or... read more


Partial migrant. Southernmost populations migrate N in late autumn to N Argentina (Buenos Aires,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. No information on global population size, but numbers thought to be stable according to BirdLife International. In... read more

Recommended citation

Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P., Wood, K.L. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Austral Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium nana). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).