News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters Country birds

One of our smaller and most tenacious owls, the Northern Pygmy Owl [Glaucidium Gnoma], hunts during the day. Large insects, rodents, and songbirds make up the majority of their diet. Pygmies are found in habitat ranging from deciduous woods to high-elevation fir and spruce forests. Nesting in tree cavities, the Northern Pygmy Owl will lay two to seven white eggs and wait until all eggs are laid before beginning incubation. After fledging, the adults will continue feeding their owlets for 30 to 34 days.

At this time, the adult male will leave the area and the youngsters are able to hunt for their own prey. In fact, these fledglings have been observed hunting only nine days after leaving the nest.

Northern Pygmys are active during the daylight and rely on their sense of sight to hunt and will cache uneaten prey and eat it later. This is especially important for this small, high-energy species, which must eat frequently. Because of this use of sight, they did not develop the good hearing, silent flight, and exceptional night vision that nocturnal owls use in their search for prey.

A group of owls are referred to as a “glaring,” a “parliament,” a “bazaar,” a “stooping,” or a “wisdom” of owls.

For more Pygmy Owl photos visit


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