Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


Northern Pygmy Owl

Northern Pygmy Owl

Glaucidium gnoma swarthi
This small brownish-grey owl (less than 20 cm) has a white belly with dark streaks, white spots on the head, and two dark patches on the back of the neck that resemble eyes. The tail is relatively long. Food may include a wide variety of prey, including birds, mice, voles, amphibians, snakes, and insects. These owls require natural tree cavities in which to nest. Conservation includes preserving large diameter old trees and snags, preserving younger trees that eventually will qualify as nest and roost trees, and protecting known nests from disturbance. Construction of nest boxes may be of benefit. Raccoons and similar wildlife should not be given artificial food sources that may increase the density of these predators. Release of rabbits into the wild may attract large predatory birds that displace small owls. Also, protection of native vegetation and natural ponds may help this species.

Photo by Ken-ichi Ueda


Northern Pygmy Owl Call

BC Status Report

Identified Wildlife Species Account

Nest Box Specifications