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Britain’s smallest owl

Little Owls are the smallest variety of bird in Britain, weighing only 6oz and their height ranges between 7 – 8 inches. They were first introduced to Britain in the late 19th century from Italy and Holland, but their numbers are on the decline due to their habitat being destroyed by development and only 8,700 pairs nested in Britain in 2009. Because of their size, one of their predators is domestic cats. Even though these owls are nocturnal, a photographer managed to snap one of these tiny creatures hunting for food to feed her chicks during the day. She spent several minutes wrestling an earthworm from the ground in a field near Cardiff: ‘The mother tugged and tugged on this worm, but it just wouldn’t budge, so she used her wings to lift herself slightly off the ground to get extra leverage’ says wildlife photographer Andy Rouse. Her hard work paid off once the worm was pulled out of the ground and fed to her chicks nestling in a nearby stone wall.

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