In the early part of the 19th century, the little owl was a rare vagrant to the British Isles. Brought in as a natural predator to bullfinches, subsequent introductions were surprisingly successful and although in recent decline it is a common species in England and Wales and is now being recorded over the Scottish border.
• Length: 21 - 23cm
• Weight: 150 - 230gms
• Wingspan: 54 - 58cm
• UK Breeding population: 6000 - 11,000 prs *
(* Approximate figures 2007)
The Little Owl has at least eight recognised calls, all far-reaching and penetrating. The main two are: a ringing and plaintive ‘kiew’, ‘kiew’, repeated every few seconds and is frequently heard by day. The other is: a loud, rapidly repeated, yelping ‘wherrow’, with the emphasis on the first syllable. At the nest it utters a variety of chattering notes and, during the breeding season, a loud ‘hooo-oo’ note.