Little Owl (Athene noctua) in Denmark.
The Danish Little Owl group consists of volunteers who work to monitor and help the Little Owl, which is in great decline as a breeding species in Denmark.
In Denmark today, the Little Owl lives only by buildings - and especially on and around farms.
The biggest threat to the species is a lack of nesting possibilities, due to the closing in and modernization of agricultural buildings. In addition, there exists now fewer good feeding places like cattle grazed land, hedgerows, old trees, ponds etc.
The greatest threats to the species are thus the modernization of buildings and poor feeding options, mainly due to intensive agriculture, with i.a. spraying with pesticides.
Production of chicks is low, which is presumed to be due not only to poor feeding opportunities, but also to inbreeding in the population.
The Little Owl Group advises farmers on what they can do to help the Little Owl.
We've found that Veils Owl (Tyto alba) have pushed the Little Owl away from several breeding sites.
Beech Marten (Martes foina) may also be a problem for the species.
We advise farmers on what they can do to help the Little Owl. It may be the opening of a building, which ensures a good wintering place for the Little Owl. We also investigate the dangers that could threaten the Little Owl as part of our visit. We suggest a more varied natural environment such as hedgerows, grazed areas, ponds, etc.
The Little Owl Group is working much on creating the right kind of nesting box for the Little Owl. We have now developed a model, which is apparently a success (see drawing and photo). This nesting box is secured against predation by martens.
Today we suspend as far as possible all of our nesting boxes inside barn lofts. This ensures a long life for the nesting box and it prevents its taking over by other species. In addition it turns out, that the Little Owl is breeding more chicks in these locations.
The Little Owl group wishes, that our Little Owl box model is used elsewhere in Europe. See www.kirkeuglen.dk and www.danmarksugler.dk
Feel free to contact the Little Owl group, Jørgen Terp Laursen, Engdalsvej 81b, 8220 Brabrand, Denmark. firstname.lastname@example.org