The Owl Pages

Long-whiskered Owlet ~ Xenoglaux loweryi


The Long-whiskered Owlet is a tiny short-tailed owl with no ear tufts and long fan-like whiskers on its face.

Photo Gallery (6 pictures)

  • Long-whiskered Owlet
  • Long-whiskered Owlet
  • Long-whiskered Owlet
  • Long-whiskered Owlet
  • Long-whiskered Owlet
  • Long-whiskered Owlet

Sound Gallery

Typical call - Abra Patricia-Alto Nieva, Peru. May 2008. CC Frank Lambert.


Description: The facial disc is brown and not prominent. There are fan-like whiskers around the base of the bill, and longer ones at the sides of the facial disc. Eyes are pale orange-brown to amber-orange with dark blackish-brown eyelids. The cere is pinkish-grey, while the bill is greenish-grey with a yellowish tip.
Upperparts from the crown to the uppertail-coverts are warm brown, densely vermiculated dark brown to blackish. The lower nape has a collar of large whitish spots. Scapulars both have a distinct whitish subterminal spot on the outer web. Primaries are dull black, with small pale spots on the edges of the outer webs and an irregular whitish area at the bases of the inner webs. The tail is dull brown, mottled lighter and darker.
Underparts are similar to the upperparts, but with many whitish vermiculations that are denser towards the belly.
Tarsi and toes are bare and flesh-pink. Claws are pale horn with darker tips.

Size: Length 13-14cm. Wing length 100-105mm. Tail length 52-55mm. Weight 46-51g.

Habits: The Long-whiskered Owlet is mainly active at dusk.

Voice: A simple, short, deep whistle repeated at intervals of around 3 seconds - gruw.

Hunting & Food: Mainly feeds on insects.

Breeding: The breeding habits of this owl are unknown.

Habitat: Upper subtropical zone. Humid cloud forest with very dense undergrowth, laden with mosses, orchids, ferns and other epiphytes. Ranges from 1890-2100m above sea level.

Distribution: Known only from Departmento San Martín in the Eastern Andes of North Peru.

Range of Long-whiskered Owlet (Xenoglaux loweryi)
Range of the Long-whiskered Owlet Xenoglaux loweryi

Status: Listed as Endangered by Birdlife International.

Original Description: O'Neill, John Patton, & Graves, Gary R. 1977. Auk 94, p. 409-416.

References: (may contain affiliate links)
BirdLife International. 2020. "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". IUCN.
del Hoyo, Elliott & Sargatal. 1999. "Handbook of the Birds of the World: Barn Owls to Hummingbirds". Buteo Books.
International Ornithological Congress. 2023. "IOC World Bird List - Owls".
König, Claus & Weick, Friedhelm. 2008. "Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World (Second Edition)". Yale University Press.
König, Weick and Becking. 1999. "Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World". Yale University Press.
Xenoglaux loweryi at Xeno-canto.

See also: Other owls from South America, Genus: Xenoglaux.

Page by Deane Lewis. Last updated 2020-11-01. Copyright Information.