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Pygmy owl

(Glaucidium passerinum)

It is the smallest of our owls the larger females weighing only 75 gr. The wings are short and rounded and the face is vaguely outlined. Its superciliums seem large and pale. At first sight the pygmy owl seems rather shabby in its brownish coloration. The belly and the back are slightly pale.

The species has been widespread allover Europe. It is the rarest owl occurring in our country. It inhabits the old spruce forests, but could be predominantly spotted in Northern Europe and Central Asia. Its ancestors managed to conquer only limited territories in Bulgaria. It nests in old woodpeckers hollows mainly of the greater spotted woodpecker. It readily settles birds houses. During the whole year you can guess its presence by the characteristic calls, resembling monotonous whistling. Its main prey are the rodents and the small song birds.

The pygmy owl is incautious and very curious cases when it approaches people at 5-6 m are recorded, than it curiously stares at them through the tree branches. Its is especially curious when a dog is present.

Although it normally looks very sternly towards everybody, this owl is extremely gentle to its breeding partner. During the breeding season it sings very much and the song is extremely melodious. The whole repertoire is diversified by tuned sound and lasts for some half-an-hour, ending by flute sonority. The pygmy owl lays 4-7 eggs. It leaves the nest only in case of a direct danger. During this period the male ensures the food. Latter on, the female carefully cleans the nest from and remains of shells and food. The garbage box is the log of the tree with the hollow. These remains will help you discover its, otherwise secret, nest.

A protected species - Law of the biological diversity.

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