Wild Fact #911 – Santa’s Little Helper? – Elf Owl


I hope everyone is out enjoying their new presents that Santa brought them last night (I am assuming you were all good little girls and boys this year). This really is my favourite time of year.  I just love the Christmas spirit! Spending time with friends and family and the happiness of the season!  It just doesn’t get better than this.  I will try to keep this post short since I don’t want you hanging out on the computer all day!

I wanted to do a Wild Fact that related to Christmas but the only animal I could think of was the reindeer and I already did my fact for that one  (in hindsight, I should have waited).  Instead, I am going to talk about the Elf Owl today (still a Christmas theme, right?).

The elf owl is the worlds smallest owl! It stands in at roughly 5 inches tall, which is about the size of a sparrow.  Their small stature doesn’t stop these little owls from being great hunters though.  They have fairly decent night vision and like most owls, rely on their hearing to capture their prey.  I guess you could say they have ears just like one of Santa’s little helpers.  If one of these little owls manage to get caught by a predator they will generally play dead.  Eventually, the predator will leave and our little elf will continue on its way. This is unusual since most owls are aggressive and will fight for their life but I guess this is a pretty good strategey when you are only 5 inches tall.

Elf Owl Fast Fact: The elf owl can be found in Southwest USA and Mexico.  Generally, they live in natural tree cavities and old woodpecker holes.  The elf owls that aren’t too picky may even choose to live in a cactus.

I hope you enjoyed the Christmas version of Wild Facts!  I have included a video below for your viewing pleasure.  It is a little creepy but still brings a smile to your face.

Have a great holiday!

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