It is threatened by habitat loss, and deforestation. The species is locally common in arid thorn forest and scrub in the upper Rio Aguan valley, Department of Yoro. Exploration of the less-accessible interior of Honduras has revealed a wider distribution than thought at the time of its "rediscovery." The species responds and joins mobs after hearing the calls of a ferruginous pygmy owl (Glaucidium brasilianum). It was described by George Newbold Lawrence in 1867.