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Unspotted Saw-whet Owls

Owl InformationIndex of Owl SpeciesPhotos of Various Owl Species for Identification


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The Unspotted Saw-whet Owls, Aegolius ridgwayi, is a small nocturnal owl (= active at night).


Distribution / Range

It breeds in the highlands of Central America from southern Mexico south to western Panama, mainly above 2500 m. it has occasionally been considered conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species) with the Northern Saw-whet Owl.


Breeding / Nesting

It breeds in open mountain forests, in both the cloud forest and the higher oak woodland.

It uses tree cavities or abandoned woodpecker nest for nesting.


Diet / Feeding

It primarily feeds on rodents, shrews and other small mammals. It may also take birds, bats and insects.



This is a small, dumpy, short-tailed and broad-winged owl, 18 cm long and weighing 80 g. It is dark brown above with white markings on the wings. The underparts are unstreaked buff, becoming darker on the upper chest and facial disc.

Its head is large, with yellow eyes and a white-edged facial disc.

The flight is fluttery and agile.


Owl Eyes / Vision Adaptations


Calls / Vocalizations

They voice a series of rhythmic toots.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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