The British feral population originated from birds introduced in Northamptonshire. Lord Lilford had attempted to introduce Little Owl for several years by buying them from the London bird market. He left them in open cages around Lilford Park making sure to leave food available every day. The first nest was found in 1889 and then they seemed to spread quite quickly. There was a peak in the 1930's but since then there has been a decrease in numbers due to habitat change. It is also prone to fluctuations in population size due to severe weather. Currently the Little Owl is the second commonest owl in Britain with 6000 pairs.