A big small surprise on the way home

A few days ago, Tommy and I were walking back home after a very long day and decided to stop by the park a few blocks from the house because the chorus of birds was amazing.

It was 5:44pm and was getting dark when we walked into the park to find what at first looked like an extra chunk of wood on one of the exercise logs on the 'gym' part of the park.

I was about 20 metres from it, with poor light, but still decided to try a pic of it (mostly to see what it was) I took one photo and tried to get closer. The thing sitting there flew!

It was a bird!! We rushed to the house as it was very hard to see the dark screen with such poor light. When we downloaded the camera's memory, we found this (click to enlarge)

It was a Peruvian Pygmy Owl, also known as Pacific Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium peruanum)

Do I REALLY have to tell you how excited we were?? A LIFER! By total chance, after a very long exhausting day... What a surprise!!

This Pygmy Owl is between 16.5 and 18 centimeters (6.5 to 7 inches) Apparently it is fairly common in dry woods, riparian forest, scrub and gardens. If you ask me, I've NEVER seen it before! It is also similar to the Andean Pygmy Owl, but found on drier woods. It is typically a grayer shade of brown and has white spots on scapulars and barring on remiges.

The songs on the Pacific slope are (according to the marvellous Birds of Peru guide) rapid rising hoots: "poop'poop'poop'poop..." To be honest, we didn't hear the song :(

The next day we were close to the park at about the same time, hoping to find it again, but we had no luck. Now that we know that this bird is a visitor on the route to the house, we don't hate the hill on the way home as much!


Tommy said...

That was a great end to a tiring day! I love the white 'eyebrows' on the owl :)

Besos, Tommy

Juan C. Aguero said...

Saludos Mel pasa por el Blog, Gracias!!

Mel said...

Hola Tommy :)
It certainly was!

Mel said...

Hola JuanKa,
Ahí estaré :)
Un abrazo,

P. Ollig said...

How cool is that!! I wish our owls were as cooperative.

Juan C. Aguero said...

Gracias Mell, si te puedo ayudar en tu aprendizaje?

Sekhar said...


Mel said...

Hola a todos :)

I don't think this one bothered much about us there, but still it flew away when we tried to get closer.
Take care!

GRACIAS!! Por favor, cualquier recomendación, material de lectura, consejo, etc.etc.etc que se te ocurra será bien recibido :)

Thanks for your visit! The new look of your photoblog is awesome! I really like it!

Lynne said...

WOW Mel!! What an amazing lifer you guys got!

ShySongbird said...

Wow! that must have been a wonderful surprise well done on getting the photo!

Anonymous said...

That is a nice surprise, glad you were able to take a photo of it.

Meggie said...

Congrats, Mel, on seeing the Pacific Pygmy Owl! What a great sighting!! He's rather cute, wouldn't you say?

dAwN said...

How exciting!
Congrats on your lifer..
i clicked on the photo to make it bigger..what a cute little fellow.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Wow, that is too cool!

Anonymous said...

You've seen the owl too! What a joy! My congratulations!!

Anonymous said...


Amy said...

Awesome, a surprise lifer is always great. What a cute small tiny little owl!

Gunnar Engblom said...

Congrats Mel.
It is also a good records for our parks in Lima. I have yet to see it in el Olivar or Ramon Castilla in Miraflores. And frankly I don't think it is these parks. If you want to see it again, you could try to imitate its whistle. You shall also notice that many of the other birds in the area will be reacting to the call and come to chase away the pestering owl. A birders trick to get the birds a bit closer. Not to be overused though.

Susan Gets Native said...

Anytime, anywhere you see an owl...it's a good thing.
Cute little bugger.

Sekhar said...


Philip said...

We have quite a few Owls here but none like this great capture ours are mostly very big ones :)

RuthieJ said...

Congratulations! I'm glad you were able to spot that little owl AND get a picture of it too!