FERRUGINOUS PYGMY OWL.
Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum
IDENTIFICATION. Both sexes of Ferruginous Pygmy Owl have the same plumage. Set below a light 'eyebrow' the eyes are yellow, showing this bird is a mostly diurnal hunter.
The top of the chest is spotted with white on rufous feathers. As it extends down the body a bold pattern of rust streaks on white or cream. The tail is long and rufous coloured with pale and dark bars.
Can be mistaken for Northern Pygmy Owl
DISTRIBUTION. Southern Arizona and Texas down through South America to Argentina. Preferred habitat being open or lightly wooded areas both in town and country. Also dessert scrub with plenty of cacti.
FOOD. Small mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.
BREEDING. 3-5 eggs laid in a hole in a tree, or cactus, in late winter/early spring. Incubation takes 28 days with the chicks fledging 4 weeks later.
SIZE. 16-18 cm (6-7in)
WEIGHT. 62-75g. (2.2-2.5oz)
WINGSPAN. 26-38.5cm (10-15 inches)
CALL. A whistle
Not generally used in falconry displays, but their diminutive size should exclude them being flown by all but the most experience falconer. Such things as anklets and jesses can prove difficult for the owl to cope with in flight. If you wish to keep small Owls they need a good size aviary, not a parrot cage, and company.