Costa Rican Pygmy Owl

Costa Rican Pygmy Owl
Savegre Lodge, near San Gerardo, Costa Rica
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Glaucidium
Species: G. costaricanum
Binomial name
Glaucidium costaricanum
Robbins & Stiles, 1999

The Costa Rican Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium costaricanum) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family. It is found in Costa Rica and Panama.


Range and Habitat

The Costa Rican Pygmy Owl is found in the mountains of Costa Rica and western Panama. This species prefers canopy and edges of highland forests and adjacent habitat. Sometimes even enters pastures and plains with scattered trees.

Habits and Voice

Costa Rican Pygmy Owls hunt from a low perch in dense forest. Waits for small prey, usually birds, lizards or large insects, and then strikes in swift flight. If target is missed, returns to perch rather than pursuing. Like other Pygmy Owls, swishes tail from side to side when agitated.

Calls mainly in early morning, late afternoon and at night with a long, slow song of randomly spaced, clear toots. Sometimes appears to come in groups of 2, sometimes sounds like it comes in groups of 3. When excited, gives a faster, higher series of 5 toots.


Pairs nest in an old woodpecker hole in March. Lays 3 eggs.

Taxonomic Note

Recently split from Andean Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium jardanii.