Little owl

Over the last six months I have been on the trail for Little Owls.

At the beginning of the year I heard a call that I had heard regularly from a distance but this time it was much closer. After going home and researching the sound I found out it was a Little Owl.

I tracked down where the sound was coming from and started seeing glimpses of a Little Owl on some hay bales. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo or the hedge was always blocking my view. Sometimes I could hear the call coming from the hay bales and a reply coming from over on the farm.

Most evenings throughout March I spotted a Little Owl sat on the side of the barn or on the tree stump.

During May the Little owl could be heard making contact calls early evening and it even came to our garden.

For about another month I didn’t see any signs of Little Owls until one evening I spotted one sat on a pile of logs. From then on, each night around 8pm to 9:30pm it sat there just as the sun disappeared behind the horizon.

In the past week I have noticed that not only is the adult sat on the top of the logs but just below, extremely well camouflaged, about half way down is one of this year’s young.

If I stand and listen carefully I can hear its raspy begging call.

Little owls aren’t native to the UK, they have been here since the late 19th Century.

They can been seen on farmland, hedgerows, often where cows or sheep have been grazing, and parkland. They eat mostly beetles, worms, moths, small mammals and birds and can sometimes be spotted running along the ground after prey. This is something I’d like to get a photo of next.


Juvenile Little Owl


During March


During March



During May



End of June


End of July



Very well camouflaged

About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. This year my debut book "Get Your Boots On" was published I am a keen amateur photographer. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire Badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild Instagram appletonwild
This entry was posted in birds, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Little owl

  1. Jude says:

    Love your blog Alex, and who couldn’t love the Little Owl. I used to live in Oxfordshire – near Woodstock, and had friends by the name of Bartlett who lived in Appleton!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. trispw says:

    Fantastic photos, Alex. Really admire your perseverance with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda Losito says:

    Hi Alex,
    As it happens, I have spent much of the last few weeks analysing Little Owl pellets. This is part of a project to try to determine the extent to which their diet varies with their local environment.
    So I can personally confirm that your overall description of their diet “mostly beetles, worms, moths, small mammals and birds” seems to be spot on!
    Now that you appear to have a regular Little Owl roost site, I would love to have some pellets from there for comparison.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Little owls really punch above their weight in the charisma stakes, and I’m so happy that you managed to track these down.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome write up and photos Alex, thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.