Size: Length (21-23cm/8-9in) Wingspan (54-58cm/21-23in)
Status: 15-20,000 pairs
Habitat: Open country with plenty of trees and hedgerows.(Europe).
Reproduction: 3-5 eggs from March-June. 20 day incubation
Diet: Small mammals, insects and worms
Little owls not only nest in holes in walls and trees, they will also use rabbit burrows. Our most commonly seen owl, it can often be seen ‘bobbing’ up and down on a perch.
Little Owls were originally used by people in the late 1800’s as cockroach hunters in their kitchens.
Little Owls were introduced in Oundle, North Hamptonshire by Lord Lilford in 1889-1890. Dutch birds were used and in 1891 the first breeding was recorded in Rutland. They fully established a population within just 50 years.
Where does the term ‘the wise old owl’ come from? A Little Owl was supposed to advise the Greek goddess of wisdom - Athena. Look at the latin name for the Little Owl and see the connection.
Little owls love to nest in holes in trees. However, some Little Owls have been known to nest in rabbit burrows! This shows their close relation to their American cousin the Burrowing Owl. Do you think they look the same?