The tiny and secretive Flammulated Owl is unique in a genus all of its own and unusual in that its diet is almost exclusively insects. It nests in coniferous forests such as ponderosa pine and mixed forests in western North America from southern British Columbia to northern Mexico. This owl is highly migratory and winters in forests from western Mexico to El Salvador. In addition to its reclusive nature, as an insectivore, the Flammulated Owl arrives on its breeding grounds well after most other owl species have begun nesting and is therefore not well covered by existing nocturnal surveys. The PIF Western Working Group established a targeted survey in 2010 to address this knowledge gap. The Flammulated Owl is a PIF yellow watchlist species and has been listed as Special Concern in Canada since 2003, in part because it is considered susceptible to habitat change through timber harvest, fire suppression and other factors. Pesticides, herbicides, pollutants and climate change could also conceivably have subtle (non-lethal but still negative) impacts on this owl.
Primary Habitats:Breeding: Temperate western forests; Mexican pine-oak forests; Pine forests
Wintering: Mexican pine-oak forests
Changing Forest Conditions, Climate Change, Urbanization
Population Loss Since 1970: N/A
Urgency/Half Life: N/A
Global Conservation Status: IUCN 2019-1 – Least Concern
U.S. Conservation Status: N/A
Canadian Conservation Status: Special Concern (SARA)
Birds of Conservation Concern: USFWS – Bird of Conservation Concern
|Region||Area Importance||Long-term Population Change||Half Life|
|Rio Grande Joint Venture||5%||***||***|
|Sonoran Joint Venture||18%||***||***|
|Intermountains West Joint Venture||41%||***||***|
*** indicates insufficient or unreliable data to calculate a regional long-term change or half-life estimate.
Species Conservation Plans:
Key Species References:
Peer Reviewed Papers:
COSEWIC 2001. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Flammulated Owl Otus flammeolus in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vi + 24 pp.