Little owl walking along a log (c) Russell Savory

Little owl

Little owls were introduced into Britain and, more recently, New Zealand. They hunt mostly at dawn and dusk, swooping down from a perch on to small mammals and insects. Surprisingly - given their carnivorous tendencies - they occasionally eat plant material and berries. Pairs construct nests within hollow cavities, where they lay a clutch of up to six eggs. Often little owls return to the same nest location, and in Britain one owl was recorded using the same site for over 25 years.

Scientific name: Athene noctua

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Little owl taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Little owl can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Little owl distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1