Little owls found nesting in Latvia after 40 years

After a break of nearly 40 years, a pair of little owls (Athene noctua) have been identified nesting in Latvia, Zemgale region, Latvian Ornithological Society (LOB) said on July 11.

On the night of July 7, a LOB worker, Tatjana Ignatoviča, identified the little owl's nest in Zemgale. 

"The bird was sitting on the electrical lines, and it was difficult to see in the shadows, but I think it was the unusual shape of the body that made me stop and pay attention to it. I decided to investigate the situation and look at the bird's behavior. A moment later, on the farm-engineering hangar next to me, I spotted a second bird that made me wonder about the possible presence of a pair of little owls and possible nesting in the area  "the LOB worker said.

She said that a few moments later one of the birds flew and sang inside the hangar. Meanwhile, the other one watched the woman from its original location. Judging by its expression in the photo, it had been rather content with not being found. 

On July 8, a LOB employee Edgars Smislovs went to make sure of the presence of a nest. He documented that the pair were already caring for their young.

The last time the nesting of the little owl was detected in Latvia was in 1984 in Ventspils.

Since 1986, only three observations of the bird have been made: in 1986 in the vicinity of Iecava, 1993 in Skaistkalne and 2017 in Mārupe. 


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