- The northern pygmy owl can be distinguished by its small size. It is about 16 centimetres (6 inches) long.
Identifying traits for this species include:
- Earless head
- Dark brown plumage
- Heavily streaked undersides
- Long, barred tail
- Upper parts are dark grey-brown speckled with white
- Two black "eye-spots" are located on the back of the head
- Under-parts are predominantly white with large grey-brown patches on the sides of the breast and dark streaks throughout
The northern pygmy owl is classified as Sensitive in the General Status of Alberta Wild Species
Also see the Status of the Northern Pygmy Owl in Alberta report at:
- Like all birds of prey in Alberta, the northern pygmy owl is protected by the provincial Wildlife Act.
- Breeding habitat is threatened by forestry operations.
Updated: Jan 8, 2014