Birda Logo
Features
Birda+
About
Species Guide
Challenges
Shop
loading...
A photo of a Eurasian Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum)
Eurasian Pygmy Owl

Eurasian Pygmy Owl

Glaucidium passerinum

The Eurasian pygmy owl, Europe's tiniest owl, is a charming avian with a dark reddish to greyish-brown plumage, adorned with spotted sides. A distinctive feature is the half of a white ring gracing the back of its neck, a subtle yet striking mark.

Identification Tips

To identify this diminutive owl, look for its small, rounded head devoid of ear tufts, which is quite unusual among owls. Its yellow eyes peer out from beneath white to grey eyebrows. The tail is a shade darker than the body, with five narrow, whitish bars. The underparts are mostly white with brown speckles, and the beak is a greyish-yellow, curved into a hook shape. The legs and toes are a brownish-yellow, ending in black talons. Females are slightly larger than males, with a length of 17.4 to 19 cm, while males range from 15.2 to 17 cm.

Habitat

The Eurasian pygmy owl makes its home in the coniferous forests of the taiga and in higher mountainous regions with coniferous and mixed forests. These habitats are characterized by cooler temperatures and higher rainfall, often with moist or swampy land and a water source nearby.

Distribution

This species is found across the boreal forests of Northern and Central Europe, extending all the way to Siberia. It is a sedentary bird, with adults typically remaining resident throughout the year, although some may move south during particularly harsh winters.

Behaviour

The Eurasian pygmy owl is crepuscular, most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. It exhibits a remarkable ability to carry prey larger than one might expect, thanks to its disproportionately large feet.

Song & Calls

The male's call is a monotonous series of clear, fluted notes, spaced about two seconds apart, and higher in pitch than the typical owl hoot. The female's call is similar but even higher. Around the mating season, both sexes may produce a rising sequence of five to seven notes.

Breeding

Pairs form from autumn to early spring, with the male courting the female by leading her through his territory and to a potential nest site, often a former woodpecker hole. The female lays four to seven eggs, which are incubated for about four weeks. Chicks hatch nearly simultaneously and fledge at about 30 to 34 days old.

Diet and Feeding

The Eurasian pygmy owl preys on small mammals like voles and mice, as well as small birds, which it can catch in flight. It also consumes lizards, fish, and insects. Notably, it hoards food in autumn, storing small mammals and birds to supplement its winter diet.

Conservation status

The Eurasian pygmy owl is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that it is not at immediate risk of widespread decline.

Eurasian Pygmy Owl Sounds



Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Eurasian Pygmy Owls on Birda

Photos
Sightings

More Owls

A photo of a Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus)

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Aegolius acadicus
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
Patricia L
Very encouraging birding app
Easy to use, fun to see progress and encouraging to receive feedback from other users.
Sacha0508
Simply fantastic
I love this app, it puts so much fun into recording the birds I’ve seen and heard while I’m out and about. The interface is user-friendly and suitable for all ages. It’s great to collect badges and to review my “lists”.
Erna M
I really like Birda
I really like Birda. I also use other birding apps and have Birda with E-bird going at the same time.
Tralisalandhoop
Fantastic app - Love it!
Love this app and have used it almost daily. Lots of species information and easy to use. Love seeing birds spotted by other users in the UK and worldwide.
Viperray5
Loving it
I really enjoy being able to interact with other birders on this platform! This seems like a great way to meet other birders and find some new spots.
Anonymous
The best bird logging app
Birda is honestly the best bird logging app I have seen. I love all the features it has from being able to do a session and log all the birds you see in one sitting, to being able to connect with other birders from all over the globe!
Madstherangers
A mordern game changer
Birda is an awesome app, its updated the world of birding to the modern day with a fun and easy to use app. It’s engaging and allows positive interaction with fellow bird lovers!
Nicole
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
Leonie
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.