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Tawny Owl

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Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl (Mabel), Christchurch Park
Tawny Owl (Mabel), Christchurch Park
Tawny Owl (Mabel), Christchurch Park
Tawny Owl
The tawny owl is a small to medium sized bird of prey that is found across Europe and in parts of Asia but tawny owls are mainly found in woodlands across Eurasia. The tawny owl is the most widespread owl in Europe and is the most of common bird of prey found in the UK.

Tawny owls tend to be around 40cm tall with a wingspan of about 100cm, with the tawny owl therefore being a much stockier bird than many other species of owl in the world.

The tawny owl is a nocturnal bird of prey, that takes advantage of their fantastic night vision to quickly catch their prey. Tawny owls prey on small rodents such as voles and mice, and also insects and small reptiles. In the same way as other species of owl, the tawny owl swallows it's prey whole and then regurgitates the bones that it cannot digest within a few hours of eating, in the form of a small pellet.

Typically, tawny owls can be found nesting in tree holes during the daylight hours when they are resting. During the breeding season in the early spring, the male tawny owls can be seen hunting during the day as well as at night as they are collecting food to present to their mate.

Tawny owls are known to mate for life although this is not always the case. The female tawny owl lays an average of 3 eggs in the late spring to early summer and incubates her eggs while the male tawny owl brings her food. The tawny owl chicks hatch out of their eggs after an incubation period of around a month. The tawny owl chicks are reared by their parents until they are usually around 2 months old, although it is not uncommon for the tawny owl chicks to be looked after until they are nearly 3 months of age.

Due to the fact that tawny owls are relatively small birds (particularly in comparison to other birds of prey), the tawny owl has a number of natural predators within it's environment. Predators of the tawny owl include dogs, cats and foxes along with birds of prey such as hawks, eagles, buzzards and even larger species of owl. Rats and squirrels are the main predators of the tawny owl's eggs.

Tawny owls inhabit dense forest and woodland where they cannot be disturbed resting during the day. During the night, tawny owls can often be heard making noises such as hooting and screeching which they do to communicate with other tawny owls, to mark their territory and to find a mate.

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Tawny Owl Facts

Five groups that classify all living things...
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
A group of animals within a pylum...
A group of animals within a class...
A group of animals within an order...
A group of animals within a family...
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Strix Aluco
The animal group that the species belongs to...
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
38cm - 43cm (15in - 17in)
Wing Span:
The measurement from one wing tip to the other...
81cm - 105cm (32in - 41in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
350g - 650g (12oz - 23oz)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
80km/h (50mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
4 - 6 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Black, White, Grey, Tan, Brown
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Favourite Food:Mice
The specific area where the animal lives...
Dense forest and open woodland
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once...
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Mice, Vole, Insects
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Hawks, Eagles, Buzzards
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Large eyes and fantastic hearing

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