The Little Owl is not a native species but was introduced to the UK in the 1800s by rich land owners.
The Little Owl is not a native species but was introduced to the UK in the 1800s by rich land owners. Many released birds died before they could become established, the first breeding pair was recorded in 1879 in Edenbridge, Kent. The population soon began to grow and birds became established as they were also released in other counties in England. Today the population is spread across England and Wales and into southern Scotland, though most are found in the south east of England. Whilst some introduced species have gone on to have a negative impact on native wildlife, the little owl seems to have fitted in without issue.
The little owl favours lowland farmland that features copses and hedges. It can also be found in orchards and parkland. The little owl hunts at dawn and dusk for beetles, small rodents birds and worms. It can be seen during daylight hours perching on a branch, rock or electricity pole and will bob it’s head up and down when alarmed. Little Owls nest in cavities in trees, dry stone walls, buildings and even rabbit burrows. The birds will occupy their favoured nest sites throughout the year.