Meet the adorable Elf Owl, the tiniest owl in the world

When most people think about owls they think of massive winged wise creatures.

But that’s not the case when you come across an Elf Owl.

The Elf Owl looks like an elf, but it’s no bigger than a sparrow.

This tiny bird’s body is only six inches tall and weighs less than 1,5 ounces, which gives them the look of a fluffy brown golf ball.

You can find this little species in forests and desert cactus environments in southwest Texas and southern Arizona. It often stays in woodpecker holes in tall saguaro cactus until the night falls down.

When the sun sets, Elf Owls leave their holes to hunt beetles, crickets, and spiders. Sometimes, they also catch lizards, scorpions, and mice. Don’t be fooled by their seemingly adorable and harmless appearance. Like other members of the owl family, these little birds are callous hunters.

Unlike other birds, owls hardly make noises when they fly. Their broad wings with large surface area and the uniquely designed leading edges of their feathers minimize sound by breaking up the airflow, which promotes silent flight. That’s why they are intimidating predators for smaller creatures.

When the cold winter comes, Elf Owls leave the US for warmer areas in Mexico, where more insects can be found. In late February or early March, the tiny birds return to southwest America and become excited to enter the mating season. The female often lays four eggs in the spring, and the newborns will come out after 3 weeks. The male owl will hunt for the whole family before the female joins it after a few weeks.

In most dangerous situations, Elf Owls will choose to escape rather than fight. However, the tiny birds could make loud alarm sound to call for other birds to help them mob great-horned owls if the larger birds intend to attack the nest. If the little owls are at the end of their rope, they may resort to plan B: pretending to be dead until the threat disappears.

How do you feel about the lovely-looking Elf Owls? Have you ever seen an owl before? Please write your thoughts in the comment below and share this tiny bird with your friends and family!

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