The diet of the little owl, athene noctua, in Israel

Motti Charter, Yossi Leshem, Moshe Guershon, Ido Izhaki, Yossef Kiat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The diet of the Little Owl (Athene noctua) was studied in the area around Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu and Kibbutz Sha‘alvim, Israel. During the study, 1070 and 1271 specimens were identified as food items, of which invertebrates accounted for 76.4% and 84.7% of specimens and 6.5% and 21.8% of biomass. Mammals were found in 93.2% and 73.4 of pellets, respectively, and invertebrates in 69.6% and 92.2 of pellets. Mammals accounted for 21.0% and 12.8% of prey by number, birds for 1.8% and 2.2%, reptiles for 0.7% and 0.3%, and insects for 67.2% and 77.7%. As in other studies from Europe, mammals were the most important prey group when biomass was calculated. Latitudinal trends of birds and Orthoptera in the diet of the Little Owl were found, whereas no trends were found in mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, and the insect orders Coleoptera and Dermaptera.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalZoology in the Middle East
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Athene noctua
  • Diet
  • Latitude
  • Little Owl
  • Pellet
  • Prey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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