Skip to Content

Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

laucidium brasilianum cactorum

Cactus ferruginous pygmy owls are small enough to hold in your hand. Their average size is 6-7 inches in length and they only weigh about 2 1/2 ounces. They have rather long tails, yellow eyes, and no ear tufts. The cactus ferruginous pygmy owl is overall a reddish-brown color with white streaking on the forehead and head. It’s chest is cream colored with rust colored streaks. They have a distinctive pair of white outlined black patches on it’s nape that look like eyes.

cactus ferruginous pygmy owl picture


The cactus ferruginous pygmy owl’s feed mostly on small mammals, insects, amphibians, earthworms, and lizards.


Cactus ferruginous pygmy-owls live in desert surroundings of southern Arizona, northwestern Mexico, and in the southwestern United States.


The cactus ferruginous pygmy owl lives in areas of land that are low or level to it’s surrounding area. Usually at elevations below 4,000 feet. They prefer habitats such as desert grasslandsplains, and low woodlands. Typically, these areas are dense with vegetation and foliage that provide cover for it’s hunting and shields the small owl from enemies. The tree’s, cacti, stumps, woodpecker holes, etc. provide cavities for roosting and nesting.


Cactus ferruginous pygmy-owls are bold hunters and can kill a bird almost twice it’s size. They are primarily active at dawn and dusk. These owls do not migrate. They typically hunt from tree perches and wait for their pray. They will also inspect cacti and tree cavities for other nesting birds. The cactus ferruginous pygmy owl will produce calls that are a dull / flat series of short, repeating notes. The owls do not migrate.

Mating / Nesting Season
 Late winter / early spring
Gestation 28 days
Clutch size 3-6 eggs
The owlets are fed by both parents. The young owls will leave the nest about a month after hatching. They will continue to be cared for by the adults for up to an additional 3 weeks or until the young are ready to be on their own.