Tawny Owl Calling Survey

Tawny Owls by Laurence Liddy

Tawny Owl Calling Survey volunteers listened for the owls' familiar 'hooting' and 'kee-wick' calls in 2018 and 2019. Thank you to all who participated and made this survey a success.

Read an article on survey results from BTO News

Read an article on survey results from BTO News (PDF, 804.79 KB)

The survey was easy to take part in - requiring a listen for 20 minutes during at least one evening between the 30th of September 2018 and the 31st of March 2019. Participants listened from their garden, local park or woodland - even whilst lying in bed with the window open! All information was valuable, so even zero counts were helpful. 

Volunteers listened for their familiar 'hooting' and 'kee-wick' calls between sunset and midnight. All we asked was for people to tell us the date, start time of the 20 minute survey period, an estimate of cloud cover and importantly whether or not you heard an owl. If you heard a Tawny Owl at another time of the week outside the survey period you were also able to record this. From this, we sought to understand their calling behaviour and distribution and to discover the impact of urbanisation and artificial lighting. A previous comparable survey also took place during 2005/06 which we wanted to compare to in order to explore any changes.

Read the scientific paper: Citizen science shapes monitoring approaches for Tawny Owl

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Project timeline, contributions & findings

Project timeline

  • 09/2018 - survey began
  • 04/2019 - survey period ended
  • Data now being analysed

Contributions & findings

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