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Tawny Owl


The tawny owl is about 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. It is a widespread breeding species in England, Wales and Scotland but not found in Ireland. Birds are mainly residents with established pairs probably never leaving their territories. Young birds disperse from breeding grounds in autumn.

Where to see it:

Tawny owls are likely to be found in deciduous and coniferous woodland, but will also live in farmland and gardens, parks and churchyards where there are suitable nest sites in large trees. 

The tawny owl is nocturnal so it is often heard calling at night, but much less often seen. In the daytime, you may see one only 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. 

The tawny owl's diet mainly consists of small mammals and rodents, small birds, frogs, fish, insects and worms. The male calls with a hooting 'hooo-hoo-hooo', which is far-carrying. Female usually replies with a hoarser hoot. Also a 'ke-wick' call.

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