Fun Tawny Owl Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Tawny Owl Facts For Kids

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Owls are one of the most interesting and beautiful of birds. They can seem wise and kind. Though they are not as intelligent as they are made out to be. Tawny owls are one of the beautiful species among these owls. They are grey, brown or rufous in color with mottled streaks. If you see any of them sitting inside their hole in a tree, you might not even understand their presence at the very moment. Though it's better if you don't go near them. They are very protective of their home and it is common  among tawny owls for the young ones to leave the home of their parents at a very early age.

But we cannot let the species become uncommon or rare. So, there are many owl trust websites on the internet, like one of British Trust for Owls, where you can go if you want to help them and read on to learn more interesting and funny facts about owls, mainly tawny owls and fall more in love with them.

Fun Tawny Owl Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Small to medium sized mammals and birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and some small owls

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

Female: 1.22 lb (553 g) Male: 0.97 lb (440 g)

How long are they?

14-18 in (35.6-45.7 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Grey, rufous and brown with darker mottled streaks

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Predation, Starvation, Modernization Of Urban Areas

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Woodlands, Shrubland, Temperate Forests, Agricultures, Urban And Clear-felled Areas


Central And Western Asia, North Africa And Europe









Tawny Owl Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tawny owl?

Tawny owl (Strix aluco) is a kind of owl from the genus of strix. We know of at least 11 different subspecies of known tawny owls.

What class of animal does a tawny owl belong to?

Tawny owl (Strix aluco) belongs to the aves class of the animals.

How many tawny owls are there in the world?

The most abundant tawny owl is in Europe. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Europe homes approximately 80% of the species. The breeding population of the tawny owls in Europe is estimated at 535,000-939,000 pairs of birds. Which equates the number of mature birds of the species to 1,070,000-1,880,000. So, according to the math, the global population of the mature birds of the species can be somewhere around 1,400,000-2,400,000. But as all these are theories and estimated with math, the number could be between 1,000,000 and 2,999,999.

Where does a tawny owl live?

To answer the question where do owls live, there are about 11 different subspecies of tawny owls living throughout Central and Western Asia, North Africa and Europe with some gaps here and there. They can be seen everywhere in Great Britain all year round except at the islands and northern Scotland. Subspecies of these owls live in western Siberia, northwestern India, Nepal, China, northern Iran and in many more places.

What is a tawny owl's habitat?

Tawny owls mainly live in forests, woodlands but these birds can also live in man made urban areas. In forests, these birds usually stay in mixed conifer and broad-leaved forests. The nests of a tawny owl is usually holes in trees, buildings or cliffs. They can also stay in nest boxes that are sometimes provided by people, burrows of big animals or in old nests of big birds. These owls are pretty territorial.

Who do tawny owls live with?

Tawny owls, in most cases, are monogamous. So, they live in a familial structure. They are highly territorial and protective of the young owls and their nests. So, they might attack, however big the animal is, if they feel even a little threatened. They live in urban areas, in holes in buildings but not all would be friends to humans. There are accounts of incidents where a tawny owl has attacked and harmed humans because they sense danger.

How long does a tawny owl live?

The typical lifespan of tawny owls is about four years, and sometimes even over 10 years. But they can also live for a long time. Most of the young owl lifespan gets short when they can't find any unoccupied living space around. Many lose their lives due to starvation.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of tawny owls is in the winter. They reach their sexual maturity after they're one year old. These birds usually mate for life. The courtship ritual involves the male of the species swaying up and down, side to side near the female, clapping his hands, grunting and puffing out their feathers to look larger. In response, the female screeches and make noises. Mating behaviors between the male tawny owl and the female one might differ between the subspecies. The clutch size of the tawny owl is two to three owl eggs. The incubation period is about 30 days, which falls in early spring. Usually, tawny owls leave the nest after spending three months with their parents.

What is their conservation status?

There is abundance of this owl tawny in many places and it's one of the most common owls out there. The population of these owls is about 1,400,000-2,400,000. The conservation status of these owls is Least Concerned.

Tawny Owl Fun Facts

What do tawny owls look like?

Nighttime activity is what tawny owls do.

Tawny owls are medium sized owls. They have large rounded head and no ear tufts. But they have ear openings in their head. Their feather colors depend on where they live. But it mainly varies between the colours grey, rufous, and brown with mottled coloured streaks. The facial disk of their face is quite plain and the tawny eyes are black. All these features give the owl a kindly look.

How cute are they?

Tawny owls can seem cute to some people. They certainly have the look for it but cute or not, their appearance certainly has a wise look to it. But they surely aren't cute if you consider their behaviour. Don't go near their house, cause if they deem you as dangerous, they will most definitely attack you.

How do they communicate?

Tawny owls are pretty vocal and specially at night. The most common sound they make is 'ke-wick' by the female and 'hoo-hoo-hoo' by the male in response. Tawny owls can recognize the different owl call, like the contact call of their young owls and they know the meanings of each. Males of the tawny owls seem to hoot when they occupy a territory. When these birds are alarmed or aggressive in any way, their hooting can sound frightening. Their call that they use in mating is called 'xylophone trill'. The owlets cry for food using a kind of squak.

How big is a tawny owl?

Tawny owls are medium in size. The length of a tawny owl is about 14-18 in (35.6-45.7 cm). Their wingspan is about 38.98 in (99 cm). The biggest owl is the Eagle owls of Europe. They are about 26-28 in (66-71 cm) in terms of length and wingspan can be 5 ft (1.5 m). The differences are pretty obvious.

How high can a tawny owl fly?

How high tawny owls fly in terms of numbers is unknown. But they can fly pretty high and their movement is perfect. Tawny owl like all the other owls fly in a perfectly silent manner. This even helps them attack their preys and enemies without them knowing. These owls are nocturnal but their eyes don't help with their movement. On the contrary, their night vision is almost like humans but their directional hearing ability is extraordinary. It is almost 100 times better than humans. It helps them move perfectly even through the woods.

How much does a tawny owl weigh?

Tawny owls are medium sized owls and they weigh accordingly too. Females of the species weigh about 1.22 lb (553 gm) and the males weigh about 0.97 lb (440 gm). Female tawny owls usually weigh 25% more than the males. While the Scandinavian and the Siberian subspecies are comparatively larger, heavier and have a wider wingspan.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Female owls are called owl hen and male owls are called owl cock.

What would you call a baby tawny owl?

The baby of an owl is called owlet. Baby of a tawny owl would also be called owlets.

What do they eat?

To answer the question what do owls eat, a tawny owl's prey ranges from worms, insects, small mammals and birds to medium sized mammals and birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and even some small owls. They usually catch their prey from the ground. It gets easier for them to catch their prey as their flight is noiseless.

Are they loud?

Tawny owls are very vocal and they are also quite loud at that. These birds are nocturnal. So, they shout mainly at night. If one is staying at your home, it might disrupt your sleep.

Would they make a good pet?

Tawny owl is a bird of wild. So, we recommend that you don't try to keep them as pets. These birds are territorial and there have been reports of them attacking humans and harming their eyes. A tawny owl can take on bigger and dangerous animals if it thinks it's nests are in any kind of danger or if a mother tawny owl thinks that her young birds are in danger. They become pretty vicious. So, trying to keep them as pets would not be the cleverest idea.

Did you know...

A number of tawny owls were used for the making of the 'Harry Potter' movies.

Hooting of male tawny owls have been recorded and then has been shown and played in entertainment shows to create the environment and atmosphere of night.

The tawny owls are considered unlucky at some places as they wander in the night and their hoot can easily be imitated.

A renowned bird photographer named Eric Hosking lost one of his eyes by the attack of a tawny owl when he was trying to take a photo of it. He named his biography, 'An eye for a bird'.

The family of owls, 'Strigidae' is also called 'typical owls'. Some species of the family other than tawny owl are, brown wood owl, screech owl, and ural owls.

Owls don't need to drink from pools of water as they just acquire their required amount of water for their body from the preys they hunt and eat.

Where do tawny owls hunt?

Tawny owl searches for prey on the ground for worms and insects, small mammals and more. They grab their prey by their claws. They hunt in shrubs, bushes or grasslands for prey like, small birds or bats. Mostly tawny owls hunt at night but if you see one in the day, it's probably searching for prey for their young birds.

How many tawny owls are there in Britain?

Tawny owl is the most famous species of owls in Britain. The number of tawny owls in Britain is approximately 50,000 pairs, which equates to 100,000 individuals tawny owls. But the concerning thing is that the number is declining.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Tawny owl coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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