Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Colima Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium palmarum)


French: Chevêchette du Colima German: Palmenzwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo de Colima

Glaucidium palmarum


, 1901,

Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico


Considered a member of G. minutissimum complex, which includes also G. sanchezi, G. griseiceps, G. parkeri and G. hardyi; further study needed to determine true relationships. Recently separated from G. minutissimum on basis of vocalizations. Racial differentiation uncertain, variation perhaps only individual or reflecting polymorphy; species often treated as monotypic#R#R#R. Three subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. p. oberholseri R. T. Moore, 1937 – S Sonora to S Sinaloa (NW Mexico).
  • G. p. palmarum Nelson, 1901 – Nayarit to Oaxaca (SW Mexico).
  • G. p. griscomi R. T. Moore, 1947 – SW Morelos and NE Guerrero (SC Mexico).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm; male c. 45 g, female c. 50 g. Tiny pygmy-owl. Facial disc brownish, flecked white, with short whitish eyebrows; crown and nape greyish tawny-brown with... read more


    Song comprises 2–24 short hoots separated by long pauses; often successively increasing... read more


    Dry tropical semi-deciduous forest (thorn forest), usually in foothills; locally in pine-oak forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Very little information. Reported to take small birds, reptiles, other small vertebrates and large insects.


    Poorly studied. Said to lay during May. Most nests probably in tree cavity, often old woodpecker hole. Clutch size reported to be 2... read more


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Fairly common to common within range, but little quantitative data are available. Information on status, population trends... 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. (2019). Colima Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium palmarum). 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 13 December 2019).