Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Peruvian Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium peruanum)


French: Chevêchette du Pérou German: Peruzwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo peruano
Other common names: Pacific Pygmy-owl

Glaucidium peruanum

C. König

, 1991,

Ninabamba (2100 m), Apurímac, Peru


Apparently closest to G. brasilianum, G. tucumanum and G. nana. Recently separated from G. brasilianum on basis of bioacoustical analysis and DNA evidence. Later research suggests that populations currently included in present species constitute two species, one on Pacific slope and the other on Amazonian slope; they differ markedly in morphology and, particularly, vocalizations; name peruanum is applicable to birds of Amazonian slope. Currently treated as monotypic.


W Ecuador (Manabí) S through W Peru to N Chile; also E of Andes in extreme SE Ecuador (Zamora-Chinchipe) and Marañón drainage of Peru.

Descriptive notes

15–17 cm; male 58–62 g, female 65 g (n = 1). Smallish pygmy-owl with grey, brown and red morphs. Birds of Amazonian slope have quite large,... read more


Song of birds of Amazonian slope has a sharply declining pitch and speed. On Pacific slope, song is... read more


Riparian woodland, thickets, dry scrub, semi-arid woodland, mesquite, and elfin forest; also... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates, small birds and small mammals known to be taken, but little published information. Forages in middle storey and canopy;... read more


Poorly studied. Nest situated in cavity, typically built by woodpecker in tree, but also reported to use mud nest of hornero (... read more


Probably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Generally considered rare, but probably relatively common locally; difficult to observe. No quantitative information on... 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). Peruvian Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium peruanum). 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).