Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Red-chested Owlet (Glaucidium tephronotum)


French: Chevêchette à pieds jaunes German: Rotbrust-Zwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo pechirrojo
Other common names: Red-chested Pygmy-owl

Glaucidium tephronotum


, 1875,

South America; error = Mampong, Ashanti, Ghana


Relationships uncertain. Race elgonense sometimes treated as synonym of medje#R. Proposed races lukolelae (CW DRCongo) and kivuense (E DRCongo) included within medje. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. t. tephronotum Sharpe, 1875 – Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana#R.
  • G. t. pycrafti Bates, 1911 – Cameroon.
  • G. t. medje Chapin, 1932 – Congo Basin, E DRCongo and W Uganda.
  • G. t. elgonense Granvik, 1934 – E Uganda and W Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    17–18 cm; male 71–95 g, female 73–103 g. Very small; facial disc light grey with white flecks, short white eyebrows; head and neck dark grey, fading into... read more


    Series of 2–20 high whistles given at 2-second intervals, “teu, teu, teu, teu,...... read more


    Dense primary rainforest and forest-scrub mosaic; also recorded in logged forest, clearings,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Varied: eats insects such as mantises, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs and cicadas; pursues moths and other winged insects in forest canopy... read more


    Little known. In Liberia, a female with enlarged ovaries and having laid recently in late Mar; in Ghana, a collected female finished laying... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. In some areas considered rare and hard to locate. No estimates of global population size or population trends. ... 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., Bonan, A. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Red-chested Owlet (Glaucidium tephronotum). 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 7 December 2019).