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World Owl Trust - leading the World in Owl Conservation
Sunday 26th October, 2014

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Tawny Owl
Strix aluco
Tawny Owl - Strix aluco sylvatica
Tawny Owl - Strix aluco sylvatica
As of February 2005.
Description Medium sized owl with no ear tufts and dark eyes and a stocky appearance. Variable colouration with grey (gray), brown and rufous morphs with intermediates. Generally grey-brown (gray-brown) above with darker mottling and distinctive white or cream spots on upper wing coverts. Below paler with darker streaks and barring. Noticeable pale short “eyebrows”, and dark crown bordered with white.
Size 36-46cm, 380-660g
Range Europe from Britain and Portugal and NW Africa to W Siberia and Caspian Sea, Asia Minor and parts of the Middle East, Turkistan across to E China.
Habitat Semi-open mixed and deciduous woodland, parks, gardens.
Food Wide variety of prey including small mammals, frogs, birds, insects, earthworms and even fish.
Breeding January-July, nests in tree cavities, old bird nests or squirrel dreys, or holes in cliffs and buildings. 2-9 eggs incubated for 29 days. Young leave the nest at about 4 weeks old, and can fly within 3 weeks but remain with parents for another 2-3 months.
Call A fluting drawn out “hoo uk hoooooooh”, also a sharp keewick.
Status Not globally threatened. Locally very common, and very adaptable.
Comments None at this time.
Races The last four races described may each be a distinct species pending further studies.
S.a.aluco N & C Europe from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean and Black Sea
S.a.mauritanica NW Africa from Morocco to Tunisia and Mauritania
S.a.sylvatica W Europe including Britain
S.a.siberiae C Russia from Urals to W Siberia
S.a.sanctinicolai W Iran, NE Iraq
S.a.wilkonskii Palestine to N Iran and Caucasus
S.a.harmsi Turkmenyia
S.a.bidulphi NW India and Pakistan
S.a.nivicola Nepal to SE China, south to N Myanmar and Thailand
S.a.yamadae Taiwan
S.a.ma NE China & Korea
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The World Owl Trust is a member of BIAZA
The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.
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