Northern Pygmy Owl Call
Northern Pygmy Owl - "Wally"
Glaucidium californicum or gnoma
The Pygmy Owl was brought to Cascades Raptor Center (Eugene, Oregon) in November 2009. It possibly had suffered a collision with a vehicle or window since its X-rays showed that the left shoulder had multiple fractures. The wing was bandaged, and after it had healed, the owl was placed in a small aviary to recuperate. However, its injury was permanent as it still could not fly well and was only able to flutter short distances.The owl was transferred to WERC in July 2010 and given the name "Wally" (it had been called "Walter" while at Cascades).
Pygmy Owl Fast Facts:
Range: From S British Columbia to S California and the "four-corners states" to central Mexico
Habitat: Open coniferous forests
Height: 6.75- 7.5" Wingspan: 12-15" Weight: 2.5 oz (79 gms)
Voice: Smooth whistled hoo or hoo hoo
Life span in the wild: 6 to 7 years
Nesting: In natural tree cavities or woodpecker holes
Monogamous; 1 brood per year; fed by both parents Unlike mainly nocturnal (night-hunting)
owls such as Barn Owls, Screech Owls, and Great Horned Owls, Pygmy Owls are visual hunters. They lack the silent flight feathers, prominent facial feather disc, and asymmetrical ear structure of the nocturnal owls that hunt mainly by listening for prey.
Diet and Habits: Mostly diurnal, competing with other day-hunting predators for the rodents, birds (as big as a quail or dove-twice its size), reptiles and amphibians that make up their diet. It is a ferocious hunter.
While the owl is perching while waiting for its prey, it must avoid being mobbed (attacked) by songbirds. As a defense, the Pygmy Owl has distinctive markings on the back of its head which mimic an owl's eyes and beak. To a bird flying overhead, it would look like the owl is staring right up at it!