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The little owl is a diminutive species, which possesses a plump, round body, bright yellow eyes and spotted plumage. There are thirteen recognised subspecies of little owl which differ in size and colouration, but typically exhibit plumages in various shades of grey-brown, rufous-brown and yellowish-brown. The body and head bear extensive white markings, appearing as spots on the wings, back and head, and broader splashes of white on the breast. The juvenile is paler and more uniformly patterned than the adult, with buff, rather than white, spotting. When advertising for a mate, the male little owl produces a mellow hoot, “gooek”, which rises in pitch. In addition, both sexes also give a repeated loud “hoo” call

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