Tawny owl

(c) Allen Holmes

Our most common owl, (and one that most people recognise by its call) the Tawny Owl, can be found in a variety of habitats such as urban and rural gardens, town parks, farmland copses and woodlands. The tawny owl will take a wide range of prey and is very vocal, especially during the build-up to the breeding season.  They are primarily a cavity nester and with that will readily accept a nest box in a woodland, small copse or even a back garden.

Tawny owls have been known to be very aggressive around the nest site, so, just in case, it is best to avoid siting a box near a busy garden or footpath. You can locate territorial birds by either the squeakier calls of youngsters in the summer as a sign of a successful pair or by the adults reclaiming territories in late autumn and winter.  Tawny owls are earlier breeders than our other owls and can have eggs by the end of March.   They are also susceptible to deserting a nest site if disturbed early on in the breeding cycle.  Follow the points below to help Tawny owls in your area.

  • Locate pairs by listening for fledged young (squeakier call) in mid-summer or territorial adults in Autumn and winter.  Calls can be found here.
  • Choose a suitable woodland or tree away from too much activity.  You can then get a purpose tawny owl box from us here.  Our box will come with an advice sheet on how to put it up, where and how to maintain it.
  • Once the box is up, leave well alone and observe from a distance.  You can also tell if something is venturing into the box by seeing muddy marks on the bottom of the entrance hole.

To buy a Tawny owl box built by Raptor Aid please click on this link