The little owl was introduced to Britain from Holland in 1889 and it was then known as the 'fierce little foreigner'. As its Latin name implies, the owl was associated with the Greek goddess Athene.


Little Owls and Humans

The little owl used to be held responsible for the destruction of eggs and young game birds, but analysis of the contents of their pellets proved that this was untrue. Nowadays it is regarded as a useful pest-destroyer in gardens and on farmland.

As with many other animals of all kinds, the little owl population in Britain began to decrease back in the 1960s when organochlorine pesticides were introduced. These dangerous chemicals entered food chains and affected the fertility of predatory animals at the top of the chains, thus reducing their numbers. Since these pesticides were banned, little owl numbers have recovered to some extent and today it is not under any particular threat.

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