Tawny Owl

Strix aluco

Tawny Owls are reasonably large, brown in colour with black eyes and lacking the ear tufts seen on some of our other owl species. During the daylight hours they tend to remain in cover up against a tree trunk and are occasionally pestered by scolding songbirds. During the winter nights the classic hooting calls can be heard, along with a 'keewik' call. Some observers get confused when they hear the range of calls made by a Tawny Owl and wrongly assume that there is more than one species of owl present.

Boxes need to be sited at least 2.5 metres above the ground. Owls need a clear flight path in and out of the box and in quiet, secluded spots. Nesting owls can be dangerous if approached. Tawny Owls nest in woodland and in well-wooded suburban gardens. 

For more information about Tawny Owls, see the BTO’s BirdFacts and Wider Countryside Report.

  • Very big nest box
  • Nest height: At least 2.5m above ground
  • No nest is made
  • Egg laying starts between early March and late May. 1 brood
  • 2 to 3 eggs. White eggs
  • Incubation time: 30 days
  • Nestlings fledge after 35-39 days