Data for:
Cochise, Arizona, United States
List:
Strigiformes > Strigidae

Elf Owl

Micrathene whitneyi

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Identification

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One of the smallest owls in the world, about the size of a sparrow. Patterned with rufous, gray, and white. Most similar in plumage to Flammulated Owl, but note the Elf Owl's white eyebrows, yellow eyes, tiny size, and habitat. Found in brushy woodlands and surrounding desert, where they nest in natural cavities or abandoned woodpecker holes in trees and cacti. Nocturnal; most easily found by listening for call around dusk: a descending whiny chuckle or single mewing note. Migrates south to Mexico for the winter.

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Learn more about Elf Owl from…

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds

Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America