Little Owl – 1994

Athene noctua – TYLLUAN FACH – Breeding resident

Map produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre
Breeding confirmed7
Breeding probable7
Breeding possible17
No of tetrads occupied31 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads6.5%

The first Little Owl in Pembrokeshire was noted at Solva in 1920, and later the same year they were found breeding at several sites (Lloyd’s diary, 1936). Lloyd encountered them in ten widespread localities, ranging from Freshwater West to Eglwyswrw, between 1925 and 1937, and also found several nests. Lockley et al. (1949) stated that the Little Owl was by then a common resident.

It had become the commonest owl in Pembrokeshire by 1927, but was less numerous by 1946 when Saunders noted that “there are now only a few records annually, mostly from coastal areas”. A pair attempted to breed at Skokholm in most years up to 1954 but were discouraged and sometimes deported because of their predation of Storm Petrels.  Up to six pairs breed annually at Skomer where Storm Petrels are also preyed upon.  Little Owls were located in 31 tetrads during the 1984-1988 Breeding Birds Survey, probably totalling 50 pairs, and were recorded in other localities during the intervening winters, so they appear to be on the increase again.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

LLOYD, B. 1925—1939. Diaries. National Library of Wales

SAUNDERS, D.R. 1976. A brief guide to the birds of Pembrokeshire. Five Arches Press.

More about the Little Owl in Pembrokeshire