An analysed regurgitated pellet from a Little Owl contained 2000 crane-fly eggs and 342 earwigs but Britain’s smallest owl also enjoys mice, small birds, bats, frogs, beetles, moths, caterpillars and insects generally.
By 1960 the Little Owl could be found in every county in England and Wales but in recent years there has been a decline due to habitat loss of old trees and hedgerows. The Little Owl is just as at home in a town park as the countryside so long as there is enough food to plunder, so if you spot a Little Owl in your town it might be picking off the local cockroach population at night.
All the Little Owls in Britain originated from just 18 which were released in England in 1888. Today there are an estimated 6,000 pairs in the UK. Little Owl’s are laying their eggs right now and the young fledge in June or July. To encourage the cockroach munching Little Owl into your area try introducing a nesting box.
The little owl is a diminutive species, which possesses a plump, round body, bright yellow eyes and spotted plumage. There are thirteen recognised subspecies of little owl which differ in size and colouration, but typically exhibit plumages in various shades of grey-brown, rufous-brown and yellowish-brown. The body and head bear extensive white markings, appearing as spots on the wings, back and head, and broader splashes of white on the breast. The juvenile is paler and more uniformly patterned than the adult, with buff, rather than white, spotting. When advertising for a mate, the male little owl produces a mellow hoot, “gooek”, which rises in pitch. In addition, both sexes also give a repeated loud “hoo” call