Hi, I'm Rudi, i'm 8 years old and my favourite book is 'Tarka the Otter' by Henry Williamson. Its about the life of an otter named Tarka and British Wildlife. One night i was reading the book with my dad and i said that i wanted to see all the animals in the book, he said i should do it and call it the Tarka Challenge. My Tarka Challenge started on 1st January 2012. The book contains 89 birds, 54 land based animals, 120 plants and 56 aquatic organisms.

The rules are simple, i must either see each thing myself or photograph it using my trail camera. I will try and see each thing on my local patch (Ogmore River Catchment) but may need to look somewhere else in Britain.

Little Owls

Little Owls (Athene noctua)

I went over my Nannies for tea and spotted a pair of little owls in a chimney, it was so well camouflaged that nobody else could see it at first and they thought i was making it up.

Little Owls are between 23-28cm tall. The birds hunt during day and night and like to perch in well seen places such as lamp posts, telegraph poles (and chimneys). Little Owls are not actually native to Britain. The birds have a distinctive piercing call often heard at dusk.

They like to eat mammals and other birds and even though they are small can catch and eat rabbits, rats, moorhens and magpies. The main part of thier diet is actually insects. Little owls were once kept as household pets to keep control of pests such as mice and cockroaches.

There were a few people who introduced these birds to Britain (ones that were originally caught in Italy), the main person was Edmund Meade-Waldo.

In his book Henry Williamson calls little owls 'Dwarf Owls'.


  1. Some excellent images and a really nice post about the Little Owls Rudi, you did really well to spot them! I should know as I spend most of my time looking for them.....

  2. the best shot is the second one up from the bottom, two owls for the price of one! haha took us ages to see both of them