Tawny Owl Point Survey

Tawny Owl coming to land by Laurence Liddy

Volunteers helped reveal the full picture of the state of our Tawny Owls by taking two short evening visits to squares available across the UK.

Survey Completed For Autumn 2018

The survey period is now over for autumn 2018 and some very provisional results can be found here. Thank you to everyone who took part!

Read a BTO News Article about the results of the survey

Read a BTO News Article about the results of the survey (PDF, 241.81 KB) .

Despite being widespread, we know surprisingly little about our Tawny Owl population. The BTO's core monitoring schemes do suggest a recent decline but as they are daytime surveys, they can't show us the full picture.

Why survey Tawny Owls nationally?

We get better information on how Tawny Owl populations are doing by carrying out periodic targeted surveys. BTO previously carried out national structured surveys for Tawny Owls in Britain in the autumns of 1989 and 2005. So by carrying out a comparable survey in autumn 2018 (August 15th - October 15th 2018) that also takes advantage of modern statistical techniques, we aimed to get an up to date measure of change in their occupancy and populations as well as habitat associations and geographical patterns. Through this, we hope to learn more about our noisy but often mysterious neighbours.

Tawny Owl Point Survey structure

This survey involved volunteers visiting random preselected tetrads (2x2km squares). In total there were over 6,000 tetrads available at the start of the survey, of which approximately 2650 were surveyed previously in 1989 and/or 2005. Over 3000 of these tetrads were surveyed during autumn 2018 making it the largest and most in-depth survey of Tawny Owls ever.

Time / skill required

  • 20 minutes a week to listen out for calls after dark.
  • The ability to identify common owl calls.
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Project timeline, contributions & findings

Project timeline

  • Survey period began 15 August 2018
  • Survey period ended 15 October 2018
  • Results now being analysed 

Contributions & findings

View provisional results for Tawny Owl Point Survey

Tawny Owl Point Survey results regions 2018
Tawny Owl Point Survey results regions 2018

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