Friends of Kootenay Blog

Access stories and photos about the natural and human history of Kootenay National Park and Columbia Valley Includes highlights about the Friends of Kootenay National Park activities and programs.


Northern Pygmy Owl

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Northern Pygmy Owl perched on a Douglas Fir snag - February 3, 2014 - Larry Halverson

As its name suggests, the Northern Pygmy Owl is Canada’s smallest owl, about the size of a pop can and weighs only 70 grams. But despite their small size, they are quite fierce, and will attack prey several times their own size. There are even cases where pygmy owls have killed domestic chickens. 

This tiny owl is active during the day. They prefer the edges of open coniferous forest or mixed woodlands and they regularly perch on tops of trees - so that is a good place to look for them. In a month or so they will be “hooting” their high-pitched too-too-too territorial call and by April they will have sought out an old woodpecker cavities for nesting.