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Little owls hatch in Basel Zoo

Two little owls (Athene noctua) have hatched at Basel Zoo. It is the first brood for the parents, who came to Basel at the beginning of 2018.

The healthy fluffy owlets – a female and a male – appeared on June 10 and are now almost as big as their parents, Basel Zoo said on Wednesday.

Visitors will need a bit of luck to see them, however. Despite making their first attempts to fly in their aviary, they often retreat into their nest. Swiss zoos re-opened on June 6 after closing to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The little owl is a native species to Switzerland. Orchards are among their preferred habitats, but extensive cultivation of this land and urban sprawl mean the little owl population has declined sharply since the 1950s. Today, only a few pairs still exist in the wild.