Elf Owl

About the Elf Owl

The Elf Owl, the world's smallest owl, stands at about 5 inches tall and weighs a mere 1.5 ounces. It has a compact form with a subtly spotted, grayish-brown plumage that provides excellent camouflage against the bark of trees. The absence of ear tufts and large, yellow eyes give it a distinctive, perpetually surprised expression.

This tiny owl is predominantly found in the southwestern United States and Mexico, particularly favoring desert and scrubby woodland habitats. Elf Owls are migratory, spending their summers in the U.S. and winters in Mexico. They prefer areas with an abundance of saguaro cacti or mesquite trees where they nest in cavities created by woodpeckers.

Despite their small size, Elf Owls are voracious predators, primarily feeding on insects and spiders. They are especially fond of moths, beetles, and crickets, which they hunt during the night. Their flight is agile and swift, helping them dodge branches as they pursue their prey through the underbrush.

Elf Owls are known for their evasive maneuvers, often flying close to the ground before making abrupt turns to escape predators. They rely on their exceptional hearing and night vision to navigate and locate food in the dark.

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International Names

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