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Northern Pygmy-Owl Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    The Northern Pygmy-Owl is small and compact, with a large, circular head that lacks ear tufts. The tail is long and the wings are fairly short and rounded.

    Relative Size

    Smaller but plumper than a Mountain Bluebird; larger than an Elf Owl.

    Relative Sizerobin sizedrobin-sized

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)
      • Weight: 2.1-2.5 oz (60-70 g)

Regional Differences

Individuals along the wet Pacific slope are darker and browner and have a fairly slow trill; Northern Pygmy-Owls in the drier Rocky Mountains down through Mexico are lighter and grayer with a faster trill.