I first came across this Little Owl site back in 2012, and have seen Little Owls here for the last four years, I was curious to know why I have never witnessed any successful breeding attempts, so after a bit of research, I think I have made sense of the erratic sightings.
The Little Owl begins its mating season in early February and ends as late as May, this ties up with the reappearance of the Little Owl where I usually see it within the wood. This is more than likely the male.
The male Little Owl patrols his territory and calls, partly to fend off other males from his territory but also to attract a mate. I have never heard this Owl calling, so maybe an earlier visit is needed.
Once a potential mate makes contact, pair bonding begins, this includes the Little Owl flying in pairs and sitting in the same tree, I have only once in four years noticed two Owls together in the same tree.
The next stage see's the female making a begging calls to her partner, which prompts the male to feed her prey that he has captured, this is important because it indicates to the female that there is enough to food in the area to support reproduction.
As the pair bond strengthens, the couple begin nest site visiting within his territory until a suitable nest site is chosen by the female.
And this is probably why I have never seen any signs of successful breeding at this potential nest site, the female not finding it suitable, to be fair the site is fairly near a woodland trail where dog walkers pass by, I suppose the disturbance from dogs doesn't help.
I would love to know where the other nest sites are though. here are a few images I have managed to capture, over the last few years.
I live in hope that a female will one day find this nesting site suitable.