Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Critically Endangered

Pernambuco Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium mooreorum)


French: Chevêchette des Moore German: Pernambuco-Zwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo de Pernambuco

Glaucidium mooreorum

da Silva et al.

, 2003,

Reserva Biológica de Saltinho, 140 m, Rio Formoso, Pernambuco, Brazil


Described on basis of two museum specimens and vocal records. Apparently a representative of the G. minutissimum complex, and probably most closely related to G. hardyi; differs vocally and to some extent morphologically from other species in this complex, from all of which it is geographically well isolated. It has been suggested that name “minutissimum” in fact applies to present species, with “G. sicki” proposed as a replacement name for the species currently known as G. minutissimum#R#R; however, the limited evidence does not support this claim. Monotypic.


E Pernambuco, in NE Brazil.

Descriptive notes

c. 13 cm; 51 g. A tiny owl with longer tail and shorter wing than other members of G. minutissimum complex, and rather pale in comparison with them. Face is a mess... read more


Primary song a short phrase of 5–7 notes, each characterized by distinct shift in frequency... read more


Observed high in canopy near edge of humid lowland forest, from sea-level to 150 m. Apparently... read more

Food and feeding

Seen to eat a large cicada (Cicadidae); presumably feeds on broader range of insects, and small mammals and reptiles.


Vocally active in Apr–May rainy season. No other information.


Probably resident.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Atlantic Slope of Alagoas and Pernambuco EBA. Known only from type series of two individuals collected in Nov 1980... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Pernambuco Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium mooreorum). 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 27 January 2020).