Bird Families

Sparrow owl - description, habitat, interesting facts


Sparrow syrup (Glaucidiumpasserinum) Is a bird of the order owls.

The smallest owl in the Moscow Region fauna, about the size of a starling. The top of the body is brownish-gray with white spots, the bottom is light with dark streaks. The iris of the eyes is yellow. Males and females do not differ in color, but females are noticeably larger. Young birds have a common brownish-brown outfit with a small amount of fuzzy streaks.

The voice of the sparrow owl is monotonous whistles, muffled and melancholic. The mating cry of the male is a repetitive whistling trill.

Little owls are quite widespread in the forest zone of Europe and Siberia. They can be found in forests of various types during migrations, but they prefer dark coniferous forest areas interspersed with old aspen forests.

They feed on mouse-like rodents, shrews and small birds. They catch prey from the perch, unexpectedly diving onto their prey from above. They hunt both in daylight and at night, but most often at dusk. An interesting feature that is not characteristic of other owls is that it makes reserves for the winter: starting in autumn, it puts the caught prey in hollows. Sometimes in such pantries, there are several dozen frozen voles, mice or small birds.

Sparrow owls are sedentary - adult birds constantly live in their areas. In autumn, young birds tend to migrate not far away.

Current behavior is already noted in February - March. Nests begin in the second half of April - early May, most often occupying old hollows of the Great Spotted Woodpecker. Nests are not built by laying eggs on wood dust or litter from the previous owner. Only female incubates clutch of 4-6 rounded white eggs. During incubation, the male feeds the female: bringing the prey and sowing near the hollow, he calls the female with his voice. The chicks sit in the hollow for a long time - about four weeks, and after the hatch the brood stays in the parents' territory for quite a long time.

Appearance [edit | edit code]

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The sparrow owl is a very small owl, like all representatives of the genus of passerine owls. Its body length is 15-19 cm, wingspan is 35-40 cm, wing length is 9-11 cm, weight is 55-80 g. Females are larger than males. The top is grayish-brown or dark brown, with white streaks, which are smaller on the head and larger on the back, and a whitish transverse pattern on the flight feathers and tail feathers. The bottom is white with brown longitudinal stripes. On the sides of the goiter and breast there is a dark spot with white markings. The tail is gray-brown with five narrow white longitudinal stripes. The head is small, round, slightly flattened, “ears” are absent. The facial disc is indistinct. The face is gray with small brown spots, concentric white and brown rings around each eye, and short white "eyebrows" above the eyes. The eyes are yellow. The beak is large, yellow, the claws are strong, sharply curved, black or yellow, but in this case the tips of the claws are dark in color. The toes are densely feathered up to the claws.


  1. In fact, there is a fairly extensive list of ailments that an owl can pick up. Some diseases in individuals appear immediately after birth, while the mother cannot do anything about it. If a healthy chick has stopped eating well over time and refuses to play, immediately take him to the veterinarian.
  2. Before you start an individual of this kind, it is worth noting that birds are quite rare and it will be difficult to find a professional specialist. If the disease does not present any complications, the doctor will prescribe a course of treatment. It happens that the doctor is unable to determine the pathology, here it is worth relying only on the bird's immunity.
  3. Often it is when kept in captivity that owls get sick. Such phenomena are due to the wrong content. That is why it is very important to formulate a correct and balanced diet. Some products are simply contraindicated for such individuals.

Today you have learned all about an interesting little representative of the owl family. These birds are common in wooded areas with coniferous or deciduous trees. They are protected by law, so hunting individuals is prohibited. If a person wants to purchase a bird as a pet, it will be necessary to try to find a suitable breeder. Content difficulties are definitely present and must be taken into account.

short-eared owl - description, habitat, interesting facts


  1. It is worth noting the amazing fact that in the wild, the presented individuals have rather extensive hunting territories. Their area can reach up to 5 km2. Such birds are small in size, despite the fact that they are predatory individuals. Because of this, owls are simply unable to hunt large prey.
  2. Often, the individuals in question choose small birds and all kinds of small rodents as victims. It remains interesting that owls eat only the head of their prey. Because of this, they are considered gourmets in a sense. The rest of the victim's body is simply left to rot.
  3. As soon as the cold season sets in, the individuals in question prefer to feed on pre-harvested stocks. Adults feed young animals exclusively with insects. Moreover, if the young have already got on the wing, they are able to grab such prey already on the fly. They have very well developed dexterity.
  4. If you are going to keep these individuals at home, then as food they can be given various plant seeds, fruits, cereals and vegetables. Keep in mind that a professional veterinarian should be involved in the preparation of a balanced diet. However, most of these individuals prefer freshly slaughtered small birds.

Sparrow owl

The Sparrow Owl is perhaps one of the most interesting owls not only in the Urals, but also in the Eurasian continent as a whole. Despite the characteristic features of an "ordinary" owl, some would not dare to call this species so.

The owl, according to the majority of people who have nothing to do with ornithology, is something like an owl or a well-known cartoon character about Winnie the Pooh. A large, big-eyed bird with an almost human "face", sluggish, "ugly-humming" and frightening everyone at night, passive and cautious in the daytime. Interestingly, all of the above listed signs are not at all suitable for a passerine owl. One gets the impression that this species belongs to a completely different systematic group, and if it has family ties with owls, then it is very distant.

General description

The Sparrow Owl is one of the smallest owls in Eurasia, the body length is no more than 16 cm, the maximum weight is about 90 g. The coloration of males and females is the same, the only difference is in body size - the latter are larger. The facial disc is not very pronounced. Young birds of the first year differ from adults in more blurred, brownish colors in plumage and in the absence of white streaks on the head.


The range of the little owl stretches in a narrow strip from the Sea of ​​Japan to the Scandinavian Peninsula and covers mainly the forest zone, as well as part of the northern taiga. In the Ural region, the passerine owl lives on the territory of the Chelyabinsk (its northern part) and Sverdlovsk regions, in the Bashkir Republic and Perm Territory, in the south-west of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, as well as in the south of the Komi Republic. In the Urals, there are two more species of "dwarf" owls, similar to the sparrow's owl - the house owl and the scops owl. But the ranges of these three species only partially overlap in a small area of ​​the Southern Urals.The passerine syllable lives mainly in old high-stemmed mixed forests with an admixture of spruce.

Lifestyle, activity, nutrition

The lifestyle of a passerine owl is somewhat different from ordinary owls. The daily activity of the owl, unlike most species of owls, usually occurs in the early morning and late evening hours. In winter, the owl often hunts during daylight hours.

There are differences in the way of feeding - the passerine owl does not swallow the prey whole, but carefully pluck out the tidbits. He chooses the most delicious and prefers not to touch the intestines. The sparrow owl also has an interesting feature to store food. He does this during periods when the air temperature drops below zero. The owl hides the caught prey in secret places, more often old hollows.

The owl's diet differs from season to season. In the summer period, the passerine syllable prefers to feed on mouse-like rodents - more often these are voles. In winter, the diet is dominated by small passerine birds - tits, nuthatches, bullfinches.

Owl hunting area differs in different seasons in size. In summer, the area of ​​the site often does not exceed 500 square meters. m, in winter it can increase up to 1 sq. km and more. The sparrow owl is very conservative with respect to its hunting area, and only in winter, when the food in the forest becomes much less, birds can make small migrations in distance. In the winter months, individual birds can also be found on the outskirts of villages, where they most often hunt gaping sparrows.

Owls are very inquisitive and can let a person come close. At the moment of anxiety, sitting on the top of a small tree, the sychik twitches its tail like some shrike. But if the owl does not want to be seen, then it will do it without much effort. Having a variegated color, it blends perfectly with almost any vegetation. Even in flight, it is difficult to identify this little owl. The flight trajectory of a passerine owl resembles finch birds more in type, but differs from the latter in its special maneuverability, which the owl needs in order to overcome difficult taiga areas with a strongly closed crown.

The presence of a sparrow owl in the forest can also be determined by its voice during the mating season. Starting from the third decade of February, in the Urals, the first sad whistles of a sparrow owl can be heard: "I sleep and sleep." Male and female cry very similarly.


Mating mating continues throughout the spring, mainly in the morning and evening hours. Before mating, females and males prefer to keep their distance from each other. Their attitude towards each other looks more like aggressive - after all, food competitors. But in the spring everything changes. The birds lose their caution and begin to designate themselves in the forest with characteristic calls. But for a male to win the heart of a sychiha, it is not enough to sing “beautifully”. The female will not mate with the male until he finds a suitable "apartment" in the forest, more often it is an old hollow of a great spotted woodpecker. In addition, the male must show his dedication and gallantry by demonstratively feeding the female. If the female is satisfied with everything, then a pair is created.

After some time, the female lays in a chosen hollow up to 6 white, almost round eggs, about 2.5 cm in diameter. The incubation period lasts about a month, and all this time the male constantly feeds the female. The caring daddy flies up several tens of meters to the nest and calls the female with a characteristic whistle. Feeding the female is more reminiscent of a family scandal: the sychikha literally pulls the prey out of the male's paws by force.

The female sits very tightly on the clutch and does not react at all to external stimuli. Even if you knock on a tree trunk with an ax, the female will continue to incubate eggs calmly. The hatched chicks have no camouflage color; they are covered with grayish-whitish down.Within 4 weeks, until the chicks grow up and they have full plumage, the parents will groom and cherish their children. And even after the chicks get out of the nest and sit on the nearby branches, filling the quiet forest with sad "children's" whistles, the parents will feed them for a long time, until the youngsters learn to get their own food on their own. It is during the period of formation and settlement of young birds that the highest mortality of these unusual and rare birds falls. The most agile, sharp-witted and careful individuals survive, which will leave viable offspring to continue their ancient kind.

Sparrow's Suck Facts

Scientific name - Glaucidium passerinum, English name - Pygmy Owl.

Taxonomy: order owls (Strigiformes), family of owls (Strigidae).

The species is poorly kept in captivity. Most birds caught in the wild, even at a young age, live at home for no more than two months. The main limiting factors limiting the size of the owl population in the Urals is, first of all, the deforestation of old-growth forests and the destruction of hollow trees.

The species is included in the Red Book of the Middle Urals, Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions, as well as in Appendix II of the UN Convention on the International Trade in Rare Species of Wild Animals and Plants (CITES).

In the Sverdlovsk region, it is protected in the natural reserves "Denezhkin stone", "Visimsky", as well as in the national park "Pripyshminskie Bory".

Maxim Antipin, Sverdlovsk region