available on the internet

(Begun October 2006, updated from time to time since. Latest update: Sept 2008)

As you might expect, journal publishers don't readily make academic studies available on the internet. This list therefore includes articles for which only abstracts are available as a good abstract can give a useful guide to what's in the main paper.




Appleby and Redpath (2008) Abstract only

Variation in the male territorial hoot of the Tawny Owl Strix aluco in three English populations.

B.M. Appleby and S.M. Redpath

Ibis, vol. 139, issue 1 (2008), 152-58

View abstract on this Wiley InterScience page.

From the abstract: ". . . Individual owls were separated on the basis of their hoots with a high degree of success (98.6% overall), and there were significant differences between areas. Differences were found between calls in woodland and farmland habitats, but these differences were not in the direction expected to increase sound transmission. Calls of neighbouring owls did not resemble each other more than calls from owls that were not in vocal contact, implying that if calls are learned by Tawny Owls, they are learned before dispersal."


Appleby, Anwar and Petty (1999) PDF

Short-term and long-term effects of food supply on parasite burdens in Tawny Owls, Strix aluco.

B.M. Appleby, M.A. Anwar and S.J. Petty

Functional Ecology vol. 13 (1999), 315-21.

Pdf available from here (Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Alabama).


Appleby et al (1997) PDF

Does variation of sex ratio enhance reproductive success of offspring in Tawny Owls (Strix aluco)?

B.M. Appleby, S.J. Petty, J.K. Blakey, P. Rainey and D.W. Macdonald

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences vol. 264 (1997), 1111-16.

Pdf available from Royal Society publications here.


Atkins, compiler (2007?) Web page

Effects of flash photography on owls.

Compiled by Bob Atkins

Two responses by avian vision experts extracted by Bob Atkins from a long thread on abc.net.au/science. Extracts on this photo.net page. (Original abc.net thread is here.)

I found this when I began wondering whether spotlighting (the use of flashlights to illuminate nocturnal animals) might be harmful to owls' dark-adapted vision — in other words dazzle them, as it does us. The original thread was mainly about flash photography. In an attempt to get some reliable information one contributor sought the opinions of two eminent vision researchers, professors G.R. Martin and J.D. Pettigrew, both of whom have worked extensively on owl vision. Their responses are conveniently presented on Bob Atkins' photo.net page, linked above. A long trawl of my own using Google Scholar confirms their views: there is no work to suggest that rhodopsin regeneration kinetics in owls are different from those in other animals. Flash may not be an issue, but if you shine a bright flashlight (torch) into their eyes they are going to be dazzled, and recovery of scotopic (night) vision takes as long as in other animals. This is generally held to be up to 30 minutes, depending on the extent of rhodopsin bleaching. Rhodopsin, or visual purple, is the light-sensitive pigment used in night vision and is found almost universally throughout the animal kingdom (see, e.g. Alvarez (2008), "On the origins of arrestin and rhodopsin", BMC Evolutionary Biology 2008, 8:222).

I have no idea why the "article created" date at the bottom of Bob Atkins' page should be given as 1998; the abc.net thread was written in 2007, so the two experts' opinions there can be taken to repesent the current state of knowledge.


Avotins (2000) PDF

Tawny Owl's territory occupancy in Eastern Latvia.

A. Avotins

Bird Census News vol. 13 (2000), 167-73.

(Also in: A. Anselin (ed), Bird Numbers 1995, Proceedings of the International Conference and 13th Meeting of the European Bird Census Council, Parnu, Estonia. [2004?])

For direct pdf download click here.


Avotins (2003) Abstract only

Nest site choice by Tawny Owls Strix aluco in Latvia.

Andris Avotins

World Working Group on Birds of Prey and Owls (WWGBP) 6th World Conference 2003, Hungary.

Abstract only; view here (first item on page)

(Published in Raptors Worldwide, Proceedings of the 6th World Conference on Birds of Prey and Owls May 2003, Budapest, Hungary. Edited by R.D. Chancellor and B.-U. Meyburg. Published jointly by WWGBP and MME (Birdlife Hungary) with numerous figures, maps, photographs and line drawings. ISBN 963-864l8-1-9. Order page here)


Balciauskiene (2005) PDF

Analysis of Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) food remains as a tool for long-term monitoring of small mammals.

Laima Balciauskiene

Acta Zoologica Lituanica vol. 15, no. 2 (2005), 85-9.

For direct pdf download from www.ekoi.lt click here.


Balciauskiene, Juskaitis and Atkocaitis (2005) PDF

The diet of the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) in south-western Lithuania during the breeding period.

Laima Balciauskiene, Rimvydas Juskaitis and Olius Atkocaitis

Acta Zoologica Lituanica vol. 15, no. 1 (2005), 13-20.

For direct pdf download from www.ekoi.lt click here.


Baudvin and Jouaire (2003)  Abstract only

Les causes de mortalité chez les chouettes hulottes adultes strix aluco dans quelques forêts de Bourgogne (Causes of death of adult Tawny owls strix aluco in some forests of the Burgundy).

Hugues Baudvin and Stéphane Jouaire

Alauda vol. 71, no. 2 (2003), 221-6.

View abstract here (Cat@inist.fr)

Study of owls using 200 nestboxes showed tawnies only move outside territory in exceptional circumstances and that vehicle impact is an important cause of death for owls living near roads. Owls living away from major roads lived on average two years longer. No effect on numbers due Pine Marten predation.


Beason (2003?) PDF

Through a bird's eye - exploring avian sensory perception.

Robert C. Beason, USDA /Wildlife Services/National Wildlife Research Center, Ohio Field Station, 6100 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, OH 44870, USA; email: robert.c.beason@aphis.usda.gov

Direct pdf download: click here.


Bech and Praesteng (2004) PDF

Thermoregulatory use of heat increment of feeding in the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco).

Claus Bech and Kirsti Elisabeth Praesteng

Journal of Thermal Biology vol. 29 (2004), 649-54.

Download pdf from Claus Bech's publications page (list is chronological downwards).


Bennett and Routh (2000) Abstract only

Post-release survival of hand-reared Tawny Owls (Strix aluco).

J.A. Bennett and A.D. Routh

Animal Welfare vol. 9 (2000), 317-21.

View abstract here about 3/4 way down page (Universities Federation for Animal Welfare).


Bird Life International (2004) PDF, single page with map and table

Single page with map and table showing Tawny Owl numbers in 41 European and adjacent countries. Data based on counts done in period 1990-2003. One of "Birds in Europe 2004" series.

Direct Tawny Owl pdf download: click here.

(The search page for other species in "Birds in Europe 2004" is here.)


Barn Owl Trust (2005) PDF

What to do if you find a young Tawny Owl Strix aluco.

Barn Owl Trust Leaflet No. 48.

Direct pdf download: click here.


British Trust for Ornithology (2005) PDF

British Trust for Ornithology instructions for Tawny Owl survey 2005.

Direct pdf download: click here. Read about the survey here. (Results not published as of September 2006)


British Trust for Ornithology (2001) Web pages

British raptor population estimates. Includes Tawny Owl, based on data originally collected in 1989 and used by Gibbons et al. 1993. (Gibbons, D.W., Reid, J.B. & Chapman, R.A. 1993. The New Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland: 1988-1991. T & A.D. Poyser, London). So UK estimates are more than 25 years old.

Two pages on the BTO site; start here.


Brito, Barrowclough and Groth (2001) Abstract

Phylogeography contradicts current Tawny Owl taxonomy.

Patricia H. Brito, George F. Barrowclough and Jeff G. Groth

Paper presented at 119th Meeting of the American Ornithologists' Union, 16-18 August 2001.

Abstract published in the "Abstract book" (pdf) for the meeting, where it appears as no. 197 on page 82. Probably superseded by Brito (2005). First suggests that British tawnies come from Balkan refugium, with little input from the Italian and Iberian refugia.


Brito (2005) PDF

The influence of Pleistocene glacial refugia on Tawny Owl genetic diversity and phylogeography in western Europe.

Patricia H. Brito

Molecular Ecology vol. 14 (2005), 3077-94.

Direct pdf download: click here.

(Patricia Brito's research page is here)


Brommer, Ahola and Karstinen (2005) PDF

The colour of fitness: plumage coloration and lifetime reproductive success in the Tawny Owl.

Jon E. Brommer, Kari Ahola and Teuvo Karstinen

Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B vol. 272 (2005), 935-40.

PDF available from Royal Society on this page.

(Study done in south Finland.)


Burish, Kueh and Wang (2004) PDF

Brain architecture and social complexity in modern and ancient birds.

Mark J. Burish, Hao Yuan Kueh and Samuel S.-H. Wang

Brain, Behavior and Evolution vol. 63 (2004), 107-24.

Direct pdf download: click here.

(Little on owls, including tawnies, but what there is is fascinating. In birds a large forebrain correlates well with social complexity. So parrots and corvids are found at the top of the list of 154 species studied in terms of "telencephalic volume fraction", Ftel, which simply means the size of the forebrain normalised to (relative to) the size of the whole brain. But guess who's right up there with them? Yes, owls, some of which apparently have very large forebrains. The range of Ftel goes from 0.823 for the Blue-and-yellow Macaw down to 0.454 for the Diamond Dove. Ranking ninth is the first owl, the Little Owl, then at 11 the European Eagle Owl, and at 15 the Tawny Owl. Ftel values for these are 0.770 (just behind the Rook), 0.765, and 0.759, respectively. The tawny comes between the Cockatiel and the Alexandrine Parakeet. Fascinatingly, the woodpeckers are up at the top too, with the Black Woodpecker (0.771) the first, ranked at no. 7. Another remarkably high ranker, at no. 17 and still among the parrots and corvids, is the Eurasian Skylark. It's fascinating stuff, and the authors don't really have an answer to why the owls, not noted for complex social behaviour, should have large forebrains. "Generally, it remains to be seen whether the advanced cognitive function imputed to owls by folklore has any observable ethological correlate" they suggest hopefully.)


Coles and Petty (1997) PDF

Dispersal behavior and survival of juvenile Tawny Owls (Strix aluco) during the low point in a vole cycle.

C.F. Coles and S.J. Petty

In 2nd Owl Symposium pp. 111-18.

Direct pdf download: click here. All 2nd Owl Syposium presentations are available from this page.

(An informative paper about young tawnies in tough conditions and in mainly spruce forest (Kielder, north England), so doesn't apply so much to tawnies living in easier conditions in mixed woodland further south. Results could be compared to Overskaug et al (1999), "Fledgling behaviour and suvival in northern Tawny Owls". See summary of Coles and Petty (1997) on Tawny Owl links page.)


Coles et al (2003) Abstract only

The role of food supply in the dispersal behaviour of juvenile Tawny Owls Strix aluco.

C.F. Coles, S.J. Petty, J.L. Mackinnon and C. J. Thomas

Ibis vol. 145 issue 2 (April 2003), E59-E68.

View abstract here: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com . . .


Cousquer (2005) Abstract only

Ophthalmological findings in free-living Tawny Owls (Strix aluco) examined at a wildlife veterinary hospital.

G. Cousquer

Veterinary Record vol. 156(23) (2005), 734-9.

Abstract only; download from this page under "Papers and Articles".

(From a clinic in SW England, more evidence of the horrendous effects of increasing traffic. 60% of the adult birds admitted (80/147 in 2000-2002) were traffic victims, and most of those examined ophthalmologically had eye injuries. However, it seems that a significant proportion of all Tawny Owls admitted for whatever reason had eye lesions (75% of the adults and juveniles examined).


Detre (2001) Web page

Greg Detre

Short discussion of sound localisation, especially by Barn Owl.

Single-page document can be read on this page.


Ewald and Crompton (1993) Abstract only

Centrorhynchus aluconis (Acanthocephala) and other helminth species in Tawny Owls (Strix aluco) in Great Britain.

J.A. Ewald and D.W. Crompton

Journal of Parasitology vol. 79 no. 6 (1993), 952-4.

View abstract here: Unbound Medline.

(If you've kept owls you know they get worms (helminths). Tawnies are thought to catch their two commonest worms from shrews. This is a study of infection in British tawnies from Strathclyde, Scotland, to Surrey.)



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