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Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl (Strix Aluco)Tawny Owl (Strix Aluco)Tawny Owl (Mabel), Christchurch ParkTawny Owl (Mabel), Christchurch ParkTawny Owl (Mabel), Christchurch Park
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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:
The name of the animal in science
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)
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)
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:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Dense forest and open woodland
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laid 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 this animal
Large eyes and fantastic hearing

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Tawny Owl Location

Map of Tawny Owl Locations
Map of Eurasia

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 its 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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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 7th November 2019

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2. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]