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 Tabaconas Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium sp nov2 
 Alternative English Names: [Sin Datos]
 Alternative Scientific Names: [Sin Datos]
 Nombre en Español: Lechucita de Tabaconas
 Nombres alternativos en Español: [Sin Datos]
Range : [Sin Datos] 
Status : [Sin Datos] 
 Notes :
 General Information:
 Identification Notes:
 Similar species:
 Taxonomic notes:
 Web sources:
 Notes on distribution and abundance:
Tabaconas Pygmy-Owl
 Distribution :
NOT checked in list yet
 Department  Birding Site Trail
 Piura Cerro Chinguela/Huancabamba IBA: PE049 No observations
05° 07' S - 79° 25' W
 Cajamarca Upper Tabaconas road

 Distribution : In GPS
 Observation/heard bird:
Last 50 Obs. 
 Date Location GPS
Depart: Cajamarca
Birding Site: Upper Tabaconas road
 Photos of this bird:  
Glaucidium Tabaconas Owl - face.jpg
Gunnar Engblom
Birding Site:
Upper Tabaconas road
Glaucidium Tabaconas Owl - face.jpg (24213 bytes)
Glaucidium from Tabaconas (face).

At around 2700 m on the Tabaconas road I found this weird Pygmy Owl on our last North Peru trip. A sound file is uploaded under files and sound recording And two poor scope pictures under files and photos On

The call is not like anything I have heard before and does not fit with any Pygmy Owl I have on tape. This is pretty much what the natural vocalization sounded like, though this is in response to an imitation of its whistle. Later we played all the Pygmy Owls we could think of Amazonian, Ferruginous, Andean, Peruvian, and Subtropical, but no reaction at all?..

Only when I made a imitation again did it come flying over us.

What do you think?

I´ll send a description of the owl tomorrow.

With me were Dave Sargeant (who took the photos), Dave Matson (who recorded the song), John Penhallurick, Bill Heady and Marianne Barrowman.

Gunnar writes: Here is the description of the owl as we saw:

This is wet subtropical/temperate forest ecotone. (First few cecropias present). East slope.
Exact altitude was 2531 m

The size was quite typical i.e. peruanum that I know best. The description below is what is noted in the field and recorded on a pocket recorder. In parenthesis some clarifications made afterwards. Hopefully, I can get some comments or confirmations of the other observers regarding this.

Upper parts brown (not a rich a warm brown, but rather dark and cold - far from any rufous or chestnut tones. I suppose grayish brown would be a more correct term.) Back of head has two prominent black and white eyespots. This can be seen on the photo. The only white spots in the plumage are prominent large spots on the greater wing-coverts. (I have no note of any white scapular spots and none can be seen on the photo). The black tail has white tips (on the central tail feathers only), three obvious white bands and a fourth band at the base of the tail only seen when spreading the tail. When the tail is spread, one could notice that the white bands actually are spots on the tail rather than bands.
Primaries has buff-cinnamon bands.
The head is mostly unmarked, there are only small whitish spots on the sides of crown (the "imaginary" ears) not on top or forehead. This is a very important morphological feature. The Pacific form of Peruanum has buffy streaks and the highland form in Ecuador (which I have never seen) whitish streaks on forehead and spots on crown, peruanum sensu stricto (Apurimac-Cusco) has prominent small whitish spots, jardini has very prominent larger white spots, brasilianum has thin buff streaks, parkeri has lots of white spots ...ok there are some morphs that does not fit to this...but this is the general distinction. Our bird does not fit any of these categories and is not a rufous morph (which in all the species seem to be less consistant in details like this).

It has a broad very dark chestnut-brown breast band (not rich), the same color comes down as streaks on the flanks.
White throat
Yellow legs
Claws black
Yellow bill
Yellow iris.

My interpretation adding all the data so far:
Vocie - mostly like brasilianum
Plumage - apart from the general coloration and tail bands being wrong the plain-ness also comes closest to brasilianum.

Both plumage and voice is quite far from all the others.

Now what is a brasilianum doing at 2500 meters in the Marañon drainage. The closest subspecies lives at around 500 meters. It seems likely we have an isolated form that has persisted in Cloud forest after continous lowland rainforest has retracted as the Marañon valley was formed. Is this a reasonable scenario? As such it ought to be an undescribed taxa we found....

Regarding Sjoerd´s comment: Only peruanum senso latu has been found to 2400 meters in Ecuador not brasilianum.

Regarding John O´s comment: Peruanum sensu latu are on both the pacific slope and in the Marañon side in dry habitat. Not really any possibility for a cline then with this individual as a link.....there may be something going on lower down in the Marañon, but so far I have only found birds that sounds like the peruanum in the Marañon in dry areas. We shall be able to get some recordings of brasilianum from the new Wetmorethraupis area shortly. This shall be interesting.

Possible scenario here is that the pacific form was isolated on the west slope and later has spread to the Marañon. My guess is that they will prove to be well marked from the brasilianum forms in wetter areas in Marañon.

Paul Coopmans wrote:
Just listened to the recording. I have occasionally heard G. jardinii do such long and monotonous series on the east slope in Ecuador, notably at Tapichalaca Reserve (Jocotoco Antpitta type locality). So that's probably what it is.
 Songs and calls:  
[No Soundfiles Found]
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