Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Cloudforest Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium nubicola)


French: Chevêchette des nuages German: Nebelzwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo ecuatoriano

Glaucidium nubicola

Robbins and Stiles

, 1999,

south side of Quebrada San José of the Río Blanco, Carchi Province, Ecuador


Recently discovered species; probably long overlooked as a result of morphological similarity and geographical proximity to G. jardinii, but vocally very distinct and also exhibits subtle but constant morphological differences. Probably most closely related to G. gnoma and G. costaricanum. Monotypic.


W slope of W Andes in Colombia (S from Risaralda) and Ecuador (S to Cotopaxi, and recorded also in El Oro).

Descriptive notes

c. 16 cm; male 76·1 g (mean of 3), female 79·0 g (n = 1). Similar to G. gnoma and G. costaricanum. Differs in shorter tail (47–... read more


Series of paired toot notes, each separated by c. 0·2 seconds, with intervals between pairs... read more


Originally described from wet primary cloudforest, on steep slopes, at elevations of 1400–... read more

Food and feeding

Unstudied. Stomach contents of collected birds included insects (orthopterans and hemipterans) and a small lizard; probably also takes... read more


Season probably Feb–Jun; individuals of both sexes collected in Aug did not have enlarged gonads. However, copulation recorded... read more


Presumably resident.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Previously considered not globally threatened. CITES II. Species little known, and no data on population level. Continuing forest destruction and degradation a... 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). Cloudforest Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium nubicola). 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 18 January 2020).