An uncommon little owl from temperate forests between 2000-3500m, with two morphs (rufous and dark). Semi-diurnal, has a recognizable call often given during late afternoon hours. Even at close distance, it is sometimes difficult to locate by voice.

It is the only pygmy-owl in the highlands of the three Andean ranges in Colombia. Pygmy-owls lack ear tufts (present and very noticeable in Screech-owls).

This image was taken on the road to Los Nevados, where it can be seen with some luck. Also present at Río Blanco.