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Tawny owl - Strix aluco Status Orange

Updated: Jan 13


Tawny Owl - Strix aluco

The Tawny Owl - orange listed

It is Britain' most widespread owl and estimated at 50,000 breeding pairs, except not on the islands, or on Ireland. although it has just colonised the Isle of man, which has disproven the myth it doesn’t like flying over water. It prefers woodland habitats and wooded areas in gardens and cities.

The Tawny is mainly nocturnal which is identified by its large black eyes designed to capture as much light as possible in the dark hours.
The Tawny is mainly nocturnal which is identified by its large black eyes designed to capture as much light as possible in the dark hours.

It's is also the owl you will have most likely heard the famous ’Twit Twoo.’ But is in fact not a single owl, but a pair, a male and female calling to one another. The male may occasionally Hoot during the day

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Like most owls, they are equipped with silent flight and the reason they aren't very waterproof.

The round facialdisk of the tawny, that gives them the appealing appearance. Actually is an adaptation to hear better.

Tawny's have excellent hearing, and the reason the tawny owl has such a round face is that its facial disk allows the owl to direct sound waves to its ears. Its ears are hidden behind the feathers on either side of its head and are slightly out of alignment with each other which gives the owl its excellent directional hearing and allows it to pinpoint prey so precisely.



Their favourite food is small rodents, large months, other insects, frogs and small birds. They have been known to take adult mallards and small gulls tho so these are tough little owls.

The oldest Tawny was 18 yrs old, but in reality, most don't get to their first year birthday. This is due to its territorial behaviour, and they drive last years young out of the parental territory.


The tawny owl first breeds at one year old and lays two to five eggs which it raises between April and June. It nests in tree holes or sometimes uses the old nests of other birds.

Tawnys are great parents and will fiercely defend their young. The owlets often leave the nest before they can fly and hop around near to the nest site. Should you find a fluffy little owlet on the floor, please lift it up out of harm's way of ground predators and leave it well alone.

©2017 by Yorkshire Animal Welfare Society.

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