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Little Owls

Little Owls are fun birds often seen out in the day time using a pole or a branch as a perch, although they are mainly nocturnal. They often bob their heads up and down if disturbed, and before taking off into flight. The bulk of their diet consists of insects and earthworms with the occasional small mammal.
They are our smallest owl, as their name implies, and have rounded wings which they beat rapidly during flight. In truth they are not native to the UK but were introduced from the Continent by Lord Lilford in the mid-19th Century. From England they have spread into Wales and just into Scotland. They are birds of open farmland but will often be seen around buildings, in some of which they nest although most nests are in holes in trees.
They have a variety of calls e.g. a yelping alarm call, and the males’ song often sounding rather like a nasal “gwooooooook” affair. Amongst the others is a softer contact call made by both sexes.
Little Owls were seen as important birds by people in some Old World civilisations, e.g. being associated with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, which may have been the first use of an owl as a symbolic icon of wisdom.

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