Thursday, 25 March 2010

Tawny Owl (Strix aluco)

Latin Etymology: Strix ("owl") aluco (Italian species specific name)
Adult Tawny Owl (subspecies S. a. sylvatica) at Kensington Gardens - March 2010

Featured Subspecies: Strix aluco sylvatica
Weight: 470g  /  Length: 37-46cm  /  Wingspan: 81-105cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The UK's largest and most common established owl (both the European Eagle Owl and Snowy Owl are far larger and have bred, but aren't really fully established), the Tawny owl is the typical brown owl found in the UK. It is also one of the more nocturnal species, and can be one of the more difficult species to see in daylight. I'd say by far the best bet for this species is visiting Kensington gardens in spring where a family can often be seen. For the most part however, this is a bird far more often heard than seen, with it's iconic "twit-tuwoo"call, both at night and in the day, though it should be noted that this call is actually that of the male and female birds calling together.

Related Species:
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Strix
Subspecies: S. a. aluco, S. a. siberiae, S. a. sylvatica, S. a. mauritanica, S. a. willkonskii, S. a. sanctinicolai, S. a. harmsi, S. a. biddulphi  

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A widespread but secretive resident (50,000 pairs)
 - Seen at Kensington Gardens and Geddington.    

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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