The little owl in the wild – photos and facts


The little owl

Click on photos to enlarge

© Martin Gillingham

Scientific name: Athene noctua

Length: 23 – 27.5cm

Breeding habitat: open country with mixture of fields, copses, cliffs, gardens, parks, hedgerows and trees

Food: insects, birds, small amphibians and snakes

Nest: pairs build nests in holes in trees or buildings and lay a clutch of up to six eggs

Identification: Small with large, broadly-rounded head, long legs and short tail.

Call: Most common call is kee-ew in falsetto. Listen to calls on the RSPB website.

These photos of one of my favourite owl species were taken in a field in Hampshire, England. I really like the background formed by the lines of the tree branches. The beauty of nature can be so simple.


The World Owl Trust is a charity which works on owl conservation on a global scale, and their conservation programmes protect populations of endangered owls until their habitat has been restored.

A charity dedicated to advancing the conservation and preservation of the wild barn owl and other British owls and raptor species through environmental projects and research studies, as well as providing a sanctuary to help rescue and rehabilitation.

Dedicated to conserving owls and other birds of prey in the wild.

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