Friday, December 29, 2017

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls appeared to be very common in the trees on the Ensenada Lodge in western Costa Rica on 8 July 2017. These tiny owls range from the southern Texas and Arizona south to central Argentina. They can be found in almost any wooded habitat. I have written about a pygmy-owl that we saw in 2014 in southern Texas.

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl calls are a long series of staccato whistles. Playing tapes is often a good way to attract pygmy-owls, along with a host of songbirds, hoping to attack the owl. The whistles are also fairly easy for people to mimic. I have, occasion, whistled up small birds in the northern United States. The whistle works best for birds that spend the winter in the tropics.

Mobbing behavior is typical of small birds, even when the songbirds are potential prey for the owl. Pygmy-owls also eat other small vertebrates and large insects (Larsen 2012).

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