Little owl endangered
Will the Little Owl disappear from the Netherlands? It looks like it. That is, if we don’t do anything. Because the number of owls is decreasing alarmingly due to the decrease in nesting opportunities, food and hiding places. You see this small bird of prey with a round head, yellow eyes and wide wings skimming over the low grass, looking for field mouse or cockchafer.
In 30 years, the population has almost halved and the number is still declining. 30 years ago there were about 10,000 breeding pairs, now there are about 6,000. How come? And what must we do to save this little bird of prey? Because this owl is already on the Red List of vulnerable and endangered breeding birds.
Lack of food
First, it is difficult for the little owl to find enough food. Mouse pellets that we put down to get rid of mice poison the mice. And the owl is fed poisoned mice. The use of fertilizers also chases away the large insects, another delicacy for the little owl. And the wooden lookout posts on which the little owl so happily sits to spy on its prey are slowly disappearing.
Shortage of nesting places
A second point is that it is difficult for the little owl to find a nice nesting place. The high pollard willow gave way to low trunk fruit cultivation and old dilapidated sheds were demolished to tidy up our lands. And this is where the little owl likes to nest.
In addition, more and more dangers lurk. More and more little owls are killed in traffic. The car is a major threat to the low-flying little owl. Many of these birds of prey also drown in unprotected wells, buckets and other open water reservoirs. And cats, dogs and stone martens also provide many dead young and adult little owls every year. There are not enough hiding places. The Netherlands is too neat ??
Future of this owl
What does the future of the little owl look like? Awful. So action is needed. For example by creating enough nesting space by leaving dilapidated sheds and providing more hiding places and healthy food; no poisoned mice. Also by screening wells and especially by not being too tidy. Because there must be mice to catch and places to hide and nest. For example, special nesting boxes are for sale. Best located far from a busy street.
You also support the Little Owl by becoming a member of the Stone Foundation, a platform for protection and research of the Little Owl. For information, see their website at www.steenuil.nl.