Northern Pygmy-Owl

As a small owl species native to North America, the Northern Pygmy-Owl is a fascinating bird that has captured the interest of many bird enthusiasts. Their unique size and hunting behavior make them stand out among other birds in their family.

Basic Description

The Northern Pygmy-Owl is a petite yet fierce predator, measuring only 6-7 inches in length and weighing just under 2 ounces. They have round heads, yellow eyes, and no ear-tufts like other owl species. Their plumage varies depending on their location but typically consists of brown or gray feathers with white spots on their belly.

Where to Find This Bird

Northern Pygmy-Owls can be found across North America from Alaska to Mexico. However, they are more commonly seen in the western United States than anywhere else. The best time to spot these birds is during the winter months when they venture farther down into lower elevations looking for prey.


These tiny owls prefer coniferous forests as their primary habitat; however, they can also be found in deciduous woods or mixed forest environments throughout their range. They nest inside natural tree cavities or abandoned woodpecker holes high up off the ground.


The Northern Pygmy-Owl’s diet consists mainly of small mammals such as mice and voles but will also eat insects and smaller birds if necessary. These owls hunt primarily during daylight hours making them easier for hikers and birders to observe compared to nocturnal owls.

Cool Facts

One fascinating fact about Northern Pygmy-Owls is that they are one of few owl species that will store extra food for later consumption! If this little hunter kills more prey than it needs at one sitting, it will cache its leftovers by hiding them away somewhere safe until needed again later.

Another interesting trait exhibited by these owls is known as “false head” behavior where they will move the feathers on top of their head to make it look like they have an extra set of eyes. This illusion helps them to deter predators, making them appear larger and more intimidating.

Overall, the Northern Pygmy-Owl is a unique and captivating bird worth seeking out in its natural habitat. With its determined hunting style and various cool traits, this small owl packs a big punch in the world of birds!