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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl -- Glaucidium brasilianum
(formerly Ferruninous Owl)

RANGE: Resident from south-central Arizona and southern Texas south through Mexico to South America.

STATUS: Rare and local.

HABITAT: Inhabits wooded river bottoms of cottonwoods and mesquite, but prefers densely vegetated desert areas with saguaro and cholla cacti and mesquite thickets. It is found from sea level to 4,000 feet.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Abandoned woodpecker holes for nesting.

NEST: Nests in abandoned woodpecker cavities from 10 to 40 feet above the ground in cottonwoods, mesquite, and most often in saguaro cactus. May use same nest sites year after year.

FOOD: Hunts from a perch, preying primarily on crickets, other large insects, and lizards. Also eats scorpions, caterpillars, and small birds and mammals.

REFERENCES: Heintzelman 1979, Karalus and Eckert 1974, Oberholser 1974a, Terres 1980, Terrill in Farrand 1983b.

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