Long-whiskered Owlet

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Common Name: Long-whiskered Owlet
Scientific Name: Xenoglaux loweryi

Size: 5 – 5 ½ inches (13-14 cm); Wingspan: 14.5 inches (37 cm)

Habitat: South America. Found in two localities on isolated ridges in the eastern Andes of Amazonas and San Martín, north Peru. It apparently inhabits the understory and mid-story of very wet Elfin forest and tall forest at 1,890-2,350 m (but potentially heard down to 1,800 m), with abundant epiphytes, bamboo thickets and scattered palms and tree ferns.

Status: Endangered. Global population: 250 to 999 with decreasing trend. Remaining areas of suitable habitat are being cleared for timber, agriculture and to secure ownership of the land, gradually around Abra Patricia, but more rapidly in the Cordillera de Colán, where locals estimated in 1994 that all the forest on the Cordillera de Colán could be cleared by 2004. More recent surveys have confirmed that habitat destruction in the region continues unabated. Abra Patricia is under pressure owing to road improvements and recent immigration and population growth in the area.

Diet: Feeding habits are unknown but it is conjectured that insects (beetles, butterflies, moths) and very small mammals are its probable diet

Nesting: Nesting habits are unknown.

Cool Facts: This species was discovered in 1976 and wasn’t seen again until 2007 when was seen in the wild for the first time. At Abra Patricia the birds were seen three times in daylight hours, and an individual was also captured in a mist-net. With their diminutive size, bright orange eyes, and wild, wispy facial feathers, the dainty birds belong to their own genus, dubbed Xenoglaux, or "strange owl."

Found in Songbird ReMix Owls of the World Volume 1

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