© Copyright: Images: Jouko Lehmuskallio, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Tawny Owl

Strix aluco

  • Name also: Brown Owl
  • Family: Owls – Strigidae
  • Appearance: A medium-sized owl with broad rounded wings and a large round head with dark eyes. Best distinguished from similar Ural Owl by shorter tail and pale streaks on cap.
  • Size: Length 37–43 cm, wingspan 81–96 cm, weight 410–800 g. Female larger than male.
  • Nest: In a hole, a cavity in a building or a nest box.
  • Breeding: 1–6 eggs laid March–April, incubated by female for 27–30 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 28–35 days, and learn to fly at the age of 35–40 days.
  • Occurrence: Scarce breeder in Southern and Central Finland in woodlands near human settlement. Range extends as far north as North Karelia and Oulu. Finnish breeding population estimated at 1,500–2,500 pairs.
  • Migration: Sedentary.
  • Diet: Small mammals, birds. Hunts nocturnally.
  • Calls: A long and often quivering hooting call, and a shrill “kivit”.

Tawny Owls are medium-sized owls with shortish tails, broad, shortish, round-tipped, convex wings and large round heads. Birds of two different colour phases can be seen in Finland with greyish or reddish brown plumage. They have streaking almost all over their plumage with darker colouring on their upper parts than their underparts. Their faces are a more uniform greyish brown or reddish brown with no streaking. Their large eyes are dark blackish brown. They are best distinguished from the similar Ural Owl by their smaller size, shorter tails and two whitish lengthwise streaks on their caps. Their legs are covered with feathers leaving only their brown claws visible. Their beaks are greenish yellow and their eyelids are reddish brown.

Tawny Owls may defend their young aggressively against human invaders.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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