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

Austral Pygmy Owl

Glaucidium nana

The Austral Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium nana, is a diminutive raptor with a length ranging from 17 to 21 cm (6.7 to 8.3 in). Exhibiting sexual dimorphism, males tip the scales at a modest 56 to 75 g (2.0 to 2.6 oz), while females are slightly heavier, weighing in at 70 to 100 g (2.5 to 3.5 oz). This species comes in two primary color morphs, gray-brown and red, with variations in between.

Identification Tips

Adults of both morphs present a pale grayish brown face adorned with dark flecks and contrasting whitish "brows" above their pale yellow eyes. A distinctive feature is the black "false eyes" on the nape, which can be quite striking. The gray-brown morph is characterized by dark grayish brown upperparts peppered with whitish dots and a similarly colored tail with narrow buffy bars. The underparts are off-white with dark grayish brown streaks. The red morph replaces the dark grayish brown with a more reddish hue but maintains a similar pattern.

Habitat

The Austral Pygmy Owl is an adaptable bird, found in a variety of settings from urban parks and farmland with scattered trees to dense deciduous forests and evergreen shrublands. It also thrives in temperate and southern beech (Nothofagus) forests, as well as the Patagonian scrub/steppe.

Distribution

This species is native to the southern reaches of South America, specifically from Valparaíso Province in Chile and Neuquén Province in western Argentina, extending all the way to the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego. In Chile, it can be found from sea level up to elevations of 2,000 m (6,600 ft).

Behaviour

The Austral Pygmy Owl is primarily diurnal but does not shy away from nocturnal activity. It is a solitary predator, adept at sallying from perches to snatch up a variety of prey, including insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles. Remarkably, it has been known to capture birds nearly twice its own weight.

Song & calls

This owl has a repertoire of five primary vocalizations. It maintains contact with its mate through a rapid whistle of 6 to 7 notes per second, described as "huj-huj-huj-huj-huj-huj." Its territorial call is a sharp trill, reminiscent of "truie-truie-yi-yi." Nestlings communicate with soft metallic chirps, "trigigigirrr" or "trigigick." During courtship, both sexes emit a whistling "tiririi-tiririi," and they also produce an undefined call noted as "diud" or "diuh."

Breeding

Nesting typically occurs in tree cavities, although the Austral Pygmy Owl has also been known to use holes in earthen banks. The breeding season sees a clutch of three to five eggs laid between September and November, with the female solely responsible for incubation.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Austral Pygmy Owl as Least Concern. Although its exact population numbers are not known, it is reported to be the most abundant owl in Chile. However, in agricultural areas, it faces persecution due to superstitions surrounding its nocturnal calls.

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

Austral 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
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.
Hip An
Fantastic
Really enjoying Birda where I live i have a lot of Red kites really hard to photograph but I can video are you planning some place on the app where us Birda can post vids🦉🦅
Abi.M
Awesome App
I really enjoy using this app! It is such a friendly community of bird-lovers who are happy to help if I need ID advice. It’s been great motivation to get outdoors and go birding more! 10/10 😍😍
Bryan C
Clean and easy to use
Really enjoying this app, it's clean and easy to use. I love the ease of being able to add those one-off birds without starting a whole checklist. I also like the social aspect, like the parts of my Facebook I like, without the ads and junk, just birds. Can't wait to see it become more populated.
Alex J
Friendly and helps to identify birds
Great birding app, good for logging your sightings, also has nice species guide. I'm enjoying the social aspect more than I expected, everyone seems friendly and helps to identify unknown birds. Good mix of newbies and experienced users.
Chudbond
Love Birda
I love this app. It really encourages you to log your sightings and the community is friendly and helpful.
Foxgirl100
Great app for beginner twitchers
I’ve had a passion of photographing birds for a long time now but have only just gotten into proper birdwatching, and this app is brilliant for those just getting started. There is a great sense of community among users and the app is very easy to use and professional. Awesome app altogether
Alice J
Awesome Birding Community
I absolutely love the community aspect of this app. The app is so user friendly and has fun interactive challenges to get you out birding. I’ve tried others but since I’ve started using Birda I’ve not gone back!
Jane N
A great app
Enjoying it immensely and finding it useful too. Recording the different birds and counting them is showing me how the present climate is affecting them all. I've trebled the numbers by planting native hedging. A great app.
Marlster24
Very Wholesome App
Joined this app with a new interest in watching birds to help me find out what I was spotting. The community is very active in helping identify birds which is great and everyone is very kind so it’s just a nice wholesome community. I would definitely recommend this for any bird spotter 😄
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.