One of the more diminutive members of the Owl family is the Northern Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium gnona) which is 7”-7/12” (18-19 cm) in size.It seems to have “Eyes in the back of its head”, this must be very confusing to both predator and prey. Scientists believe that this evolution took place to prevent his potential prey from mobbing him.
The Nothern Pygmy Owl is diurnal (opposed to most owls which are nocturnal) and is active from dawn to dusk. The ability to have better vision at night is a function of the numbers of rods and cones present in the eye. Cones are adapted to distinguish color and rods are adapted for low light. Owls have many more rods in the retina of their eye than do humans, some owls species eyes are approximately 100 times more sensitive at night than those of humans; hence giving them extremely good night vision.
In the South Okanagan the Pygmy Owl makes his home at the higher elevations between 700 and 1500 meters during the breeding season. During the winter the months of December and January it is regularly seen on the valley floor where the snowfall is less and prey more abundant.