Glaucidium brasilianum (*)
Glaucidium brasilianum (Gmelin, 1788)
* Systema Naturae 1 pt1 p.289
The Ferruginous Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) is a small owl that breeds in south-central Arizona in the USA, south through to Mexico, Central America and South America to Bolivia and Argentina. Trinidad, as well as other localities, have endemic subspecies of this owl. Recent genetics work has found substantial differences in Ferruginous Pygmy-owls from different regions, and members of the northern ridgwayi group are sometimes considered a separate species, the Ridgeway's Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium ridgwayi).This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, the family that contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae. In the southern portion of its range, the Ferruginous Pygmy-owl is generally a common bird found in a wide range of semi-open wooded habitats.
It is a cavity nesting bird (tree and columnar cactus cavities), laying 3-5 white eggs. Incubation is 28 days, with 27–30 days to fledging.
The call is a whistled hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo, usually in E flat. It is easily imitated, and is used by birdwatchers to attract small birds intent on mobbing the pygmy owls.
Dangers to the Species
The northernmost subspecies cactorum, popularly called the Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owl, was listed as Endangered under the ESA. This refers to its range in the south-central portion of Arizona in the USA, where its range extended over the border from Sonora, Mexico. It was delisted in 2006. The reasons for this are loss of habitat and buffel grass. This grass catches fire very easy and spreads to the cacti and burns the owl's primary habitat.
* BirdLife International (2004). Glaucidium brasilianum. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
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