- 5.9–6.7 in
- 16.1 in
- 1.6–2.2 oz
- Petit-duc nain (French)
- Tecolote flameado (Spanish)
- The Flammulated Owl was once considered rare, but improved census techniques revealed that it is actually quite common. Some consider it the most abundant owl of western pine forests.
- The monotonous flat toot of the Flammulated Owl can be difficult to locate. The softness of the call, together with the gradual beginning and end make its direction hard to detect. In addition, when the owl detects a person, it sings even more softly, making it sound as if the owl is far away.
- Although most small owls eat insects, they also usually eat mice, shrews, and other small vertebrates. The Flammulated Owl eats very few vertebrates at all, and subsists nearly entirely on insects, especially crickets, moths, and beetles. Perhaps this diet is the reason that few Flammulated Owls remain in northern areas over the winter.
- The oldest recorded Flammulated Owl was at least 7 years, 1 month old when it was recaptured and relreleased during banding operations in Colorado in 1988. It had been banded in the same state in 1981.
Breeds in open pine forest in mountains, especially ponderosa pine forest.
- Clutch Size
- 2–4 eggs
- Egg Description
- White with faint creamy tint.
- Condition at Hatching
- Covered in white down, eyes closed.
Nests in tree cavities. Adds no nesting material to cavity.
Hunts at night, gleaning insects off of vegetation.
There is little information in Flammulated Owl population trends, but they appear to be declining. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 20,000, with 91% spending some part of the year in Mexico, and 60% breeding in the U.S. The species rates a 15 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Flammulated Owl is on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List, which includes bird species that are most at risk of extinction without significant conservation actions to reverse declines and reduce threats.
- McCallum, D. A. 1994. Flammulated Owl (Otus flammeolus). In The Birds of North America, No. 93 (A. Poole, and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
- North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2016. The State of North
America’s Birds 2016. Environment and Climate Change Canada: Ottawa, Ontario.
- Partners in Flight. 2012. Species assessment database.
- USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2016. Longevity records of North American Birds.