Tawny Owl - Strix aluco
The Tawny Owl is the size of a pigeon. It has a rounded body and head, with a ring of dark feathers around its face surrounding the dark eyes. It is mainly reddish brown above and paler underneath.
Mainly in broadleaf woodland, but also around conifers and scrub.
All year round - the Tawny Owl is nocturnal so it is often heard calling at night, but much less often seen. Only to be seen in the daytime if you disturb it inadvertently from its roost site in woodland up against a tree trunk or among ivy. Look for pellets below roosting places.
Lays 2 or 3 white eggs in late March or April in a nest site usually in a hollow part of a tree. Incubation takes 30 days, the chicks fledging after 35 to 39 days and are capable of breeding in their first year. Birds are mainly residents with established pairs probably never leaving their territories. Young birds disperse from breeding grounds in autumn. It hunts mainly rodents, usually by dropping from a perch to seize its prey, which it then swallows whole. In more urban areas its diet includes a higher proportion of birds. Vision and hearing adaptations and silent flight aid its night hunting, though it relies principally on hearing to locate prey.
It is a widespread breeding species in England, Wales and Scotland but is not found in Ireland
Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015