Flammulated Owl

The Flammulated Owl (Otus flammeolus) is a small, nocturnal owl approximately 15 cm (6 in) long with a 36 cm (14 in) wingspan. It breeds from southern British Columbia and the western United States to central Mexico. The Flammulated Owl is similar in appearance to the Western Screech Owl but is only about one-quarter the mass, lacks large ear tufts, has dark eyes and a different voice (but has small ear tufts that are barely visible). The Elf Owl is smaller and the Northern Pygmy-Owl is approximately the same size.

The call is a series of relatively deep single or double hoots.

The Flammulated Owl nests in tree cavities and has 2–4 young at a time after a 26-day incubation period. Nesting habitat in the western U.S. and Canada is usually mature, open ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests. They mostly feed almost entirely on insects, but will very occasionally eat small mammals such as shrews. Unlike many owls, they are migratory, leaving Canada and the United States in the fall. In the winter, they are found in northern Central America, from southern Mexico to Guatemala and El Salvador.


  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • "National Geographic" Field Guide to the Birds of North America ISBN 0-7922-6877-6
  • Handbook of the Birds of the World Vol 5, Josep del Hoyo editor, ISBN 84-87334-25-3
  • "National Audubon Society" The Sibley Guide to Birds, by David Allen Sibley, ISBN 0-679-45122-6

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