Tawny owl

Species profile

Name: the tawny owl (Strix aluco) is a medium-sized owl found in woodlands.

Appearance: tawny owls are mottled grey, brown, and white. Their front feathers have an almost herringbone pattern of dark patches. As a result, they are very well camouflaged in woodlands where they are usually found. They have with big round eyes framed by a halo of feathers shaped like an infinity symbol.

Size: they measure around 40 cm, with a wingspan between 80 to 105 cm. Female owls are notably larger, weighing up to 25% more than the males.

Diet: they mainly eat small mammals such as rodents. However, tawny owls are the least specialised of owls and are very opportunistic with what they eat. Globally they have been recorded taking more than 400 different types of prey!

Did you know: tawny owls don’t like flying over water, so even though there are plenty in the UK, they are absent from many of the islands including the Isles of Man and Wight and the Outer Hebrides.

Location: tawny owls are found in woodlands all over Europe.

Where to see tawny owls

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see tawny owls in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
One Tree Hill
very low

Photo credit: Vannessaanne under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay

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