Facts about Chaco Pygmy Owl. The Chaco Pygmy Owl is a typical owl (member of the Strigdae family) that lives in the Chaco ecosystem in South America. "Scientific name for Chaco Pygmy Owl is Glaucidium tucumanum. The Chaco Pygmy Owl is divided into two subspecies: Glaucidium tucumanum tucumanum and Glaucidium tucumanum pallens. The pallens subspecies lives in the Bolivian Chaco. Glaucidium tucumanum tucumanum lives in Argentina and Paraguay.
Physical Description of Chaco Pygmy Owl
The Chaco Pygmy Owl species was first identified by Frank Michler Capman in 1922.
Chaco Pygmy Owls are around six inches tall. Females are somewhat larger than the males. Females are about ten percent larger. Females are also a little heavier. There are red (rufous), brown, and grey versions of this owl. The most common version is grey. Chaco Pygmy Owls have slate grey or dark brown upper parts, an unspotted mantle, scrapulars with light or no white spots, a dark brown and black tail with several broken off-white bars, an off white underside. The red individuals have reddish brown coloring with red-brown and brown bars on the tail.
The eyes of all Chaco Pygmy Owls are bright yellow.
For Glaucidium tucumanum tucumanum, the grey coloring pattern is most common. For Glaucidium tucumanum pallens, there are more brown and red morphs.
The Chaco Pygmy Owl is similar to the Yungas pygmy owl in appearance but different shaped spots on the crown. The Chaco Pygmy Owl's call is similar to that of the Ferruginous pygmy owl, a chuwrr sound, but lower and with more melody than that species.
Behavior of Chaco Pygmy Owl
Chaco Pygmy Owls are partly diurnal, sometimes active at night but mostly active at dawn and dusk. The Chaco Pygmy Owl's song is a series of ten to thirty notes repeated every few seconds. The song may be started with several chirps first. The female’s song tends to be higher pitched than the male’s.
The Chaco Pygmy Owl will eat insects, small birds, small mammals like mice and lizards. The Chaco Pygmy Owl usually catches them after launching from a perch. Small birds will mob the owl if they can.
Chaco Pygmy Owls fly over large distances by alternating between wing beats and gliding.
Breeding season is during the dry season, March through June, into the beginning of the rainy season. Chaco Pygmy Owls will lay three to five eggs in a nesting cavity, either inside of a tree or a large cactus. The incubation period is four weeks, with another month until the young are fledged.
The species is thought to be resident and non-migratory.
Habitat of Chaco Pygmy Owl
The Chaco Pygmy Owl does not use the mountain or cloud forest. Instead, the Chaco Pygmy Owl prefers semi-open and dry forest. The Chaco Pygmy Owl lives in the dry hill country.
Chaco Pygmy Owls prefer semi-open dry forest. They will live in the bush country at elevations up to 5,500 feet. They will live in and around human settlements and parks.
Range of Chaco Pygmy Owl
Chaco Pygmy Owls primarily live in the Argentine Chaco, though they also live in Bolivia, Paraguay, and perhaps Brazil’s northern grasslands.
Trivia of Chaco Pygmy Owl
The Chaco Pygmy Owl used to be considered a subspecies of the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium brasilianum. The Ferruginous Pygmy Owl ranges from central Arizona throughout Mexico to Argentina. It may be the most widely distributed pygmy owl. One of the major differences between the species is that the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl is larger than the Chaco pygmy owl.
The Chaco Pygmy Owl is probably sympatic (evolved from) the tropical screech owl, the Chaco owl.