This is the entry page for Tawny Owl material on the site.

Use it to navigate to other parts of the section



Two owls were released in August 2008 and their progress is being followed. The owls are Sophie (see Our Owls, below), and a younger sister, Zoe. So far they're doing well. Go to:

Owl Release 2008 (current to 2010)




Tawny Owl Nesting Diary 2008

Mrs Owl used her box again in 2008. The diary starts with an entry for 19 March.

2007 update on our local owls

Our two owl pairs didn't breed in 2007, but a big surprise was that a third owl, a female, was going round with the nestbox pair. Is it one of the 2006 owlets, or a female from elsewhere? There's a report on page 25 of the Nesting Diary 2006.

Tawny Owl Nesting Diary 2006

Two of our locally nesting pairs were monitored. One pair was using a nestbox in a nearby wood, the other a crow's nest near the house. The second pair abandoned their nest in early May, but the nestbox pair raised a couple of chicks which fledged in mid-May. The diary is illustrated by pics and sound recordings (these need broadband and good speakers or headphones for best results).

The Cambridgeshire Owls 2007

A female tawny using a nestbox in Peterborough laid the first of three eggs on January 20th. The eggs all hatched and the chicks fledged on March 23/24. Full story with video stills from two nestbox cams.

Nestboxes for Tawny Owls

In many areas there's a shortage of safe places for tawnies to raise a family, so this section tries to cover everything from just thinking about a nestbox to buying or making one, getting it up in the tree and looking after it. Plus quite a bit more.




Articles intro page

No Homes for Tawnies part 1: Why cavity nesting sites in trees don't form

No Homes for Tawnies part 2: Why chicks fall from open nests

Looking after an orphaned tawny: Guidance on care and release

The first 100 days: A tawny chick grows up

Imprinting: What's the evidence? Does it happen? (Preliminary notes)

Delayed incubation in three species of owl: Evidence that at least some species of owls synchronise hatching times by delaying the incubation of early-laid eggs.

Flashlights and owls: Some thoughts about the common custom of using flashlights to spot owls.




Tawny Owl calls and vocalizations

An inventory of tawny calls, illustrated with sound clips. (Nearly complete, but no courtship calls yet)

Can you help with two questions about tawny calls? — (1) How does the male hoot develop; and (2) Do males make the kewick call? Details in the calls section here: Call For Help.

Recordings by Allan Haighton

Four fine recordings made in Cornwall and Gloucestershire. They illustrate calls made by a pair at the nest (very similar to my own!), the male warble and wail, and a youngster waiting to be fed.

Index of Tawny Owl recordings

Lists the recordings on this site other than those on the Tawny Owl Calls pages, with links to the pages where they are described. Most relate to those in the Nesting Diary section.




Our owls intro page

"Our" refers to tawnies we have rescued, plus Sita, another rescued tawny who normally lives in a nearby owl sanctuary. The current rescued ex-chick is Sophie, who features largely on this site. Her sweet little mug, which is clickable to show the whole photo, appears at the top left of many pages.

The first part. about Owly, our first chick, awaits completion. Most of his material is on about 15 camcorder tapes and I have yet to write up his story. But there's enough to show how this website started with an unexpected encounter in the woods in May 2003.

The next part, Very young owls, is the tragic tale of the next two chicks that fell from the nest in 2004. That's pretty much complete, and tells a story that must be repeated hundreds of times every spring in our managed woodlands.

Sophie's pages (far from complete!) are about an owlet who fell from the nest in 2005. Sophie has been stuck with me for some time as I've either been too busy at the critical periods to release her safely or she's lacked a full set of flight feathers. When she's released there'll be reports on her progress. I shall have mixed feelings about letting her go as she is a charming person to have around, but the intention never was to keep her and the best place for a tawny is out in the wild. The first 100 days shows her development from a 20-day old chick until she's in full adult plumage.

NEW August 2008: Sophie has now been released along with a much younger sister. Reports on their progress start here. Latest news: 16 November 2010.

Sita is not really one of our owls, but from time to time I borrow her from the local owl sanctuary. If Sophie's release goes well I'm considering trying the same thing with Sita. She is a lovely owl, and there are some pics to show her off.

Owly, Tubby and Tiny tot (the very young owls) and Sophie are all children of the same parents. This pair's unsuccessful attempts to raise young in crows' nests led us to put up a nestbox for them. In 2006 they used it, and that's what the Tawny Owl Nesting Diary is about (see top of this page).




One of the pleasures of doing this site is that from time other enthusiasts write in to tell me about their own owls. This section is going to kick off with an account of a large nestbox project in Switzerland run by Dani Studler. Owl experiences described here don't have to be large: if for example you have a regularly occupied nestbox and some half decent photos of the proprietors I'd be delighted to hear from you.

Index page for other people's owls




Tawny Owl references on the internet

A collection of references available on the internet, all linked to sites where the abstract can be read or a pdf downloaded. Yevgeni Shegalin's listing of works in Russian and related languages follows the Internet refs here.


Tawny Owl links

A small list that'll be added to by and by.


Other owl links

A links page for owls other than tawnies.


Owl Gallery

Not limited to tawnies or even British owls -- and not strictly part of this section!

tawny owl, strix aluco, sita

Dani Studler ringing a female tawny in Switzerland. Click on pic to read about his project

powered by owls