Your Birding Month

Five birds to find this month in­clude Treecreeper, Stonechat and Gold­en­eye

Bird Watching (UK) - - Contents -

WE DON’T OF­TEN fea­ture non-na­tive birds as Bird of the Month. But there is some­thing about the Lit­tle Owl which al­lows it to fit in seam­lessly in our coun­try­side, and makes it feel like it has been here for­ever. Un­like Ring-necked Para­keets, Pheas­ants or Red-legged Par­tridges, no one ever moans about these new­com­ers spread­ing through Bri­tain. Of course, it helps that they are cute (they are, af­ter all, small owls) and it can’t hurt that they are un­ob­tru­sive and hardly abun­dant and in your face. And their ‘nat­u­ral’ range is only a short hop over the English Chan­nel, so their pres­ence doesn’t jar with our coun­try­side. Un­ob­tru­sive they may be, but they are, along with Barn and Short-eared Owls, one owl species which can of­ten be seen in the day­time. Un­like, the other two, Lit­tle Owls are not usu­ally seen fly­ing about, hunting, but rather, spend­ing time sit­ting still in a favoured tree, or on a favoured barn roof etc. They are un­mis­tak­able when seen this way, look­ing like small round balls, not much big­ger than a Black­bird. They are grey-brown with white spots and once you have been stared at by those pierc­ing yel­low eyes, you will know you have been seen!

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