Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Cuban Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium siju)


French: Chevêchette de Cuba German: Kubazwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo sijú

Noctua siju


, 1839,



Affinities uncertain. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. s. siju (d’Orbigny, 1839) – Cuba (except Pico Turquino).
  • G. s. turquinense Garrido, 2002 – Pico Turquino, in SW Santiago de Cuba Province of SE Cuba.
  • G. s. vittatum Ridgway, 1914 – I of Pines.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; male 47–68 g, female 66–102 g. Small pygmy-owl; crown, head sides and back greyish-brown with white spots; eyebrows whitish to cinnamon; nape... read more


    Whistle-like “jiu” at short intervals, or repeated “jiu, jiu, jiu, jiu”,... read more


    Coastal, deciduous and montane forest, forest edges, second growth, and open areas with scattered... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little quantitative information. Said to feed mostly on insects and small reptiles and also to take small mammals, birds and perhaps frogs... read more


    Poorly known. Breeds in dry season. Lays in abandoned nest of other bird (especially woodpecker) or in natural tree cavity; clutch size 3... read more


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Considered fairly common to common, although little information on species’ biology, and no conclusive comments can... 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., Kirwan, G.M. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Cuban Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium siju). 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 November 2019).