The tawny owl is an owl 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.
Current national studies indicate a long-term shallow decline in Tawny Owl numbers, and this appears to also be the case locally. Difficulties in recording the species, and the fact that atlas surveys have taken place at times when Tawny Owls are less evident, not to mention the fact that nocturnal monitoring is required, mean that Tawny Owls are probably under-recorded. It is clear that they are well distributed in the Forest of Dean and in the more wooded areas of the Cotswolds, particularly along the scarp.
Size, habitat and diet
Weight: M: 420g F: 520g
World distribution: Eurasia (not north)
Habitat: Forest, woodland, towns
Diet: Small mammals, birds, amphibians, worms and beetles, mostly between dusk and dawn
Introduction to the Tawny Owl (Wild Owl TV)