Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Mountain Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium gnoma)


French: Chevêchette naine German: Gnomenzwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo gnomo

Glaucidium Gnoma


, 1832,



Sometimes considered part of a species-group centred on G. passerinum (which see). Formerly considered to include G. californicum, G. cobanense and G. hoskinsii as races, but these recently separated on basis of vocalizations and/or DNA evidence. Perhaps closely related to G. costaricanum, which has recently been treated as conspecific with present species by some authors. Monotypic.


S USA (SE Arizona) S through interior highlands of Mexico (from Chihuahua and Coahuila S to Oaxaca).

Descriptive notes

15–17 cm; male 48–54 g, female 60–73 g. Small pygmy-owl with false "eye" spots on back of neck, fine white spotting on crown and... read more


Song of “toots” usually given in groups of 2 in series, interspersed with single notes... read more


Montane pine-oak (Pinus-Quercus), pure pine, pure oak and humid pine-evergreen... read more

Food and feeding

Similar to that of G. californicum. Mainly insects, especially beetles, grasshoppers and crickets; also small mammals, birds and... read more


Season Apr–Aug. Apparent seasonal monogamy; no reports of polygyny. Nest in tree cavity, especially old hole of woodpecker. Clutch... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Apparently not uncommon locally. Global population and population trends unknown, although BirdLife International... 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). Mountain Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium gnoma). 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).