Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Costa Rican Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium costaricanum)


French: Chevêchette du Costa Rica German: Costa-Rica-Zwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo costarricense

Glaucidium jardinii costaricanum

L. Kelso

, 1937,

Costa Rica


Formerly treated as race of G. jardinii, but clearly different from latter in vocal patterns. Has recently been considered conspecific with G. gnoma by some authors; probably related to recently discovered G. nubicola; further study required. Monotypic.


C Costa Rica to W Panama, possibly to E Panama.

Descriptive notes

c. 15 cm; male 53–70 g, female 99 g (n = 1). Strongly patterned smallish Glaucidium. Head brown, crown densely spotted white, face barred buff,... read more


Long series of rapidly delivered, whistled double “poop-poop” notes, sometimes 3... read more


Montane and cloud forest, mainly of pine-oak; prefers canopy and edge of forest; also in semi-open... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly insects and small vertebrates, including birds, mammals and lizards. Perch-and-pounce predator, flying swiftly to perch in dense... read more


Very little published information. Nest found in late Mar in Costa Rica was in old woodpecker (Melanerpes sp.) cavity in... read more


Presumably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama highlands EBA. Considered rare to locally (e.g. Cerro de la... 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). Costa Rican Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium costaricanum). 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 14 December 2019).