Pernambuco Pygmy Owl - Glaucidium mooreorum
Calls - Glaucidium mooreorum
The Pernambuco Pygmy Owl Glaucidium mooreorum was first described in December 2002 when two study
skins were examined in Pernambuco, Brazil. The skins were originally
collected in 1980 and thought to be subspecies of the Least Pygmy Owl
Glaucidium minutissimum or Amazonian Pygmy Owl Glaucidium
hardyi. Upon closer examination of the skins, and vocalisations of the
birds also obtained in 1980, it was concluded that this was a new species.
The name mooreorum was chosen in honour of Dr. Gordon Moore and his
wife Betty, who have made significant contributions to conservation.
[For help with terms used in the description, see parts of an owl. For general characteristics common to most owl species, see owl physiology.]
Brownish Crown, with pileum and sides of the face having conspicuous white spots bordered
with greyish yellow-brown.
Concealed white collar on the nape of the neck, followed by a narrow belt of
Back, scapulars, upper wing coverts and rump are all brownish.
Remiges are darker than the back, with conspicuous, irregularly shaped cinnamon spots on
the outer web and concealed large buffy white spots on the inner web.
Tail is dark brown with 12 rectrices that have five incomplete white bands that appear as irregularly shaped dots. The
two central rectrices have all five white bands on both sides. The outer
rectrices have the inner side presenting five white bands while the outer
side presents none or only one white band.
The centre of the underparts from the chin to the crissum are
white. The sides of the chest are yellowish brown with a few inconspicuous
white spots. Sides and flanks are also yellowish brown and have a few white
The abdomen is white with yellowish brown streaks.
Eyes are yellow, the bill greenish-yellow, and the tarsi and toes are
Specimens measured, both adult males:
1 - Tail Length 5.12cm (2.01") Wing chord 8.7cm
(3.42") Weight 51g (1.8oz)
2 - Tail Length 5.06cm (1.99") Wing chord 8.7cm (3.42")
Habits: Unknown, probably similar to other Pygmy Owls
Voice: Primary song is a short phrase composed of 5-7 (usually 6) notes uttered
at around 4.2 notes per second.
Hunting & Food: Probably feeds on insects and small mammals,
birds and reptiles.
Unknown, probably similar to other Pygmy Owls
Habitat / Distribution:
Known from only two localities in Pernambuco.
1 - Reserva Biológica de Saltinho - a protected area of
4.8 square kms composed primarily of old secondary forests
2 - Usina Trapiche, Sirinhaém - individual observed high in the canopy near
the edge of a forest belt.
Distribution of the Pernambuco Pygmy Owl Glaucidium mooreorum
Status: Critically endangered. The
entire population of this species is estimated to cover less than 100 square Kilometres.
The forests in this range are severely fragmented and continue to decline in
quality as a result of ever-growing expansion of human activities in the
Original Description: da Silva, José Maria Cardoso; Coelho, Galileu & Gonzaga, Pedreira. 2002. Ararajuba 10 (2): 123-130
da Silva, Josť Maria Cardoso; Coelho, Galileu & Gonzaga, Pedreira. 2002. "Discovered on the brink of extinction: a new species of Pygmy-Owl (strigidae: Glaucidium) from Atlantic Forest of northeastern Brasil.". Ararajuba 10 (2): 123-130
Page compiled by Deane Lewis. Page last updated 2013-05-29
OwlPages.com Owl Species ID: 190.155.000