Elf Owl

The elf owl is the smallest and lightest owl in the world
Elf Owl Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Micrathene Whitneyi
Elf Owl Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Black, White
up to 10 years
1.4 ounces
Elf Owl Distribition

” The globe’s tiniest and lightest owl.”


The elf owl ( Micrathene whitneyi) resides in The United States and Canada in the Southwestern USA and throughout a lot of Mexico. It occupies lowland locations with a lot of cover and nesting dental caries, mainly foothill canyons and saguaros deserts. They invest their days set down on reduced branches waiting on their victim and are most energetic throughout dawn and sundown. Pay attention for their high- pitched laughes as they talk with each other at nights. Find out every little thing there is to learn about the globe’s tiniest owl, including what it consumes, just how it acts, and what endangers it.

5 Incredible Elf Owl Truths

  • The elf owl is the tiniest and lightest owl on the planet, evaluating just 1.4 ounces usually.
  • They are not particular concerning their environments as long as it remains in a lowland location with some greenery and nesting locations.
  • These birds are social, typically creating teams for security and movement.
  • Some pick to mate forever, while others are virginal throughout one reproducing period.
  • Their population is decreasing because of environment devastation.

Where to Discover the Elf Owl

Elf owls reside in The United States and Canada in the USA and Mexico. They reproduce in the Southwestern component of the United States and Northern Mexico throughout springtime and summer season and move to Southern Mexico throughout the wintertime. There are additionally year- round locals in Southern Baja, The Golden State, and a couple of various other areas in Mexico. This species resides in varied environments, consisting of saguaros cactus deserts or foothill canyons around sycamores or huge oaks. They are not particular concerning their USA atmosphere and will certainly occupy any type of lowland location with cover and nesting dental caries.

Elf Owl Nest

Their nesting websites are old woodpecker openings in trees or cacti.

Scientific Name

The elf owl ( Micrathene whitneyi) is from the Strigiformes order, that makes up the owl species. Its Strigidae family includes real owls and its genus, Micrathene, just consists of the elf owl. The details name, Whitneyi, was picked to recognize the rock hound Josiah Whitney.  There are 4 identified subspecies of the elf owl.

Dimension, Appearance & Actions

The elf owl is the globe’s tiniest and lightest owl, determining 4.9 to 5.7 inches long and evaluating 1.4 ounces, with a 10.5- inch wingspan. This small owl has a brief tail, little feet, and reasonably huge heads which do not have ear tufts. They additionally have lengthy legs that show up bow- legged. Their coloring is a mottling of brownish, grey, rufous, and white, with a black described face disk.

These owls are most energetic throughout sundown and dawn and can typically be listened to phoning call to each various other in high- pitched laughes. They are nighttime and forage for food under cover of darkness. They additionally move in the evening in little family teams. This species is socially virginal and signs up with various other elf owls for security. They roost silently in their private tree dental caries throughout the day.

Movement Pattern and Timing

Elf owls are locals to brief- range travelers. Populaces in Baja, The golden state, and various other components of Mexico real-time year- round in their atmospheres. Those that reproduce in the Southwestern USA and Northern Mexico will certainly move right into Southern Mexico for the wintertime.


Elf owls are predators that mainly search from reduced perches.

What Does the Elf Owl Eat?

They eat moths, crickets, beetles, grasshoppers, katydids, cicadas, scorpions, spiders, flies, wasps, bees, and centipedes. Periodically, they take in bigger victim like lizards, serpents, and rodents. You typically locate them searching from reduced perches and removing to capture flying insects mid- air. They occasionally go after exploit foot and take them from the ground. They might be little, yet they are nimble seekers with sharp costs and talons.

Predators, Hazards, and Conservation Status

The IUCN notes the elf owl as LC or “least concern.” As a result of its huge array and population, this species does not fulfill the limits for “intimidated” condition. Nevertheless, their population pattern is lowering. Yet it does not seem decreasing at a quick speed. Its most considerable risk is environment loss. Their riparian woodland and desert scrub atmospheres are decreasing because of the farming market and urbanization.

What Consumes the Elf Owl?

Elf owl predators consist of larger owls, coyotes, tree- residence serpents, jays, hawks, bobcats, and ringtail cats. They safeguard themselves by nesting in tree dental caries, utilizing their beaks and talons, and flying away. Some breeding sets will certainly develop little teams to crowd predators.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Elf owls will certainly pick to be virginal throughout one reproducing period, or they might mate forever. Males sing noisally in the evening to draw in females. Throughout courtship, males sing inside a prospective nest and feed the females. Females lay one to 5, yet usually 3, white eggs. She breeds them for 24 days while the male brings her food. The young fledge the nest 27 to 28 days after hatching out, yet the moms and dads take care of them for a number of extra days. Elf owls live 3 to 6 years in the wild yet can endure approximately 10 in bondage.


The worldwide elf owl population is approximated to number 72,000 fully grown people. Their population remains in a sluggish decrease because of continuous environment devastation. Their numbers reveal no indications of severe changes or fragmentations.

Similar Animals:


  1. Red List / BirdLife International, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22689325/168847632
  2. Pro Quest/ National Forum / Glenna Holloway, Available here: https://www.proquest.com/openview/3968fd20789924721c5a9c39964beff2/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1820941
  3. Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan no. 136 / J. David Ligon, Available here: https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/56380/MP136.pdf?sequence=1
  4. JSTOR / The Condor Vol. 6, No. 2 / Herbert Brown, Available here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1361557#metadata_info_tab_contents

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