Little Owl

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Louise Morris [c]

Not many people realise that the Little owl is an invader of the British bird of prey species list.   This means that this bird was introduced to the British countryside and has been adopted as a native bird of prey. The Little owl was thought to have colonised most of England below Yorkshire by 1925.  It was best suited to our agricultural landscape, but by the 1980’s numbers had started to decline; a 64% decline since the 1960’s with an 11% contraction in breeding range.   Disappointingly, because the Little owl is not recognised as a native species, it doesn’t get included in the Birds of Conservation concern listing.   If it was included, it would be Red listed because of its 50% decline in the last 25 years.

littleowl chicks

Luckily,  little owls can be found in a variety of mixed habitat from large gardens, orchards, Stables and farm yards and grazed grassland and they are also sedentary, meaning if you have a pair they will remain in their territory all year round. Little owls are cavity nesters.   Because of this, they will happily adopt a nest box unless they have too good a nest cavity in a nearby tree, nevertheless a box can also become a roost site for the male. Check out the points below to help Little owls.

  • Do you have a pair locally? Listen out for the birds calling around dusk time, if you’re unfamiliar check out their call here.
  • Little owls like a mixture of habitats; rough margins, grazed pastures, hedgerows and trees with cavities. You can put a nest box up for them designed specifically for Little owls.
  • Nest boxes built by us are designed for Little owls – you can get one below

To buy a Little Owl box built by Raptor Aid please click on this link