The Little Owl is a small owl, usually 22 cm (8.7 in) tall with a wingspan of 56 cm (22 in) for both genders, and weighs about 180 g. Adults of the most widespread form, the nominate A. n. noctua, is white-speckled brown above, and brown-streaked white below. It has a large head, long legs, and yellow eyes, and its white ?eyebrows? give it a stern expression. This species has a bounding flight like a woodpecker. Juveniles are duller, and lack the adult's white crown spots. There is a pale grey-brown Middle Eastern type known as Syrian Little Owl A. n. lilith.

Habitat and Distribution

There are 13 recognized races of Little owl spread across Europe and Asia. This bird inhabits much of the temperate and warmer parts of Europe, Asia east to Korea, and north Africa. It is not native to Great Britain. This is a sedentary species which is found in open country such as mixed farmland and parkland.


It takes prey such as insects, earthworms, amphibians, but also small birds and mammals. It can attack birds of considerable size like game birds. It is partly diurnal and often perches boldly during the day.


Nest location varies based on the habitat, nests being found in holes in trees, rocks, cliffs, river banks, walls, buildings etc. It lays 3-5 eggs which are incubated by the female for 28-29 days, with a further 26 days to fledging. Little Owls will also nest in buildings, both abandoned and those fitted with custom owl nest boxes.

Calls and Songs

The call is a querulous kee-ik.