Article: Creature Feature Tawny Owl

Latin Name: Strix aluco      

Size: Between 37-43cm long with a

81-96cm wingspan.

Description: Tawny’s vary in colour from grey and reddish brown to black and white streaks. They have soft feathers for soundless flight.

Distribution: They are the most common and widespread of British Owls. They are also found in Europe, North Africa, Asia, China and Russia.

Where to see them: These majestic birds are rarely seen. They prefer woodland and farmland, but are also seen in urban areas.

Diet: They eat small rodents, mammals, frogs, fish, insects and worms.

Behaviour: Tawny Owls bond for life. They are very territorial and stay in the same area for most of their life.

Reproduction: During March/April they will lay 2-4 eggs  which the female will incubate. Chicks will fledge between 32-37 days.

Conservation: It is fully protected under the Wildlife and Conservation Act 1981 and is in the Birds of Conservation Green List.


Quick Facts

• Their incredible hearing can detect even the slightest rustling sounds from a rodent.

• Males make a “twit-twoo” or “ hooo-hoo-hooo” noise and females make a “kee-wick” noise.

• Tawny Owls are fiercely aggressive when they have chicks.

There are around 50-100,000 breeding pairs in Britain.

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