The Tawny is a woodland bird, these owls do sometimes inhabit urban areas provided there are plenty of large trees for them to rest in.

They usually lay 2-3 eggs, and these are normally incubated for around 30 days. Once the eggs have hatched both the female and male will then be busy feeding the youngsters with rodents and perhaps the occasional bird and even a young rabbit or two.

The chicks will fledge after around 35 to 40 days but will typically stay under the watchful eye of their parents for a couple of months before heading out to forge a territory of their own in late summer or autumn.

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Help your Garden Birds

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many eggs can a Tawny Owl lay?

    A Tawny Owl usually has 2-3 eggs, however in exceptional cases sometimes 5 have been counted.

  2. When does the Tawny Owl go hunting?

    Tawny Owls are most active at night, and so this is when food is likely to be brought into the box by the male, or when the female will leave the nest herself. During incubation and approx. 14 days after the eggs hatch the female will mainly rely on the male for food. You will notice that mice may be put ‘in stock’ for when the young hatch, however this is dependent on the amount of food available in the area.

  3. How many mice will a Tawny Owl eat?

    Generally, a Tawny Owl will eat between 2 and 3 mice a day. However, the number of mice available will depend on the weather and the demand in the area.

  4. How can I tell the difference between a male and female Tawny Owl?

    The only real difference can be seen in their size and length when fully grown. The female is usually a good 5cm larger than the male. Both have the same characteristics, which makes it is extremely difficult to tell whether they are male and female, especially when they are chicks.

  5. Will the Tawny Owls have another brood once these chicks have fledged?

    No, Tawny Owls only have one brood of chicks per year.

  6. Does the nest box stay up all year round?

    Yes. The nest box stays in this location all year round, but without the camera.

  7. I would like to put up a nest box for my garden birds, where should I site it for best results?

    The best height for your nest box is widely accepted as being between 1.5m and 5.5m high (5ft - 18ft respectively). However, if your area has a particularly high cat population it is best to site your box even higher.

    If you only have an exposed site to offer, face the box somewhere between north through east to southeast, avoiding prevailing winds and strong sunlight. If siting in woodland, the dry side of the tree trunk offers the most protection. By their nature, open nest boxes require more cover; siting them near to climbing plants where they can be partially obscured is ideal. Siting your nest box near vegetation also aids young birds taking their first flights as it gives them both physical support and good cover.

    A clear flight path into the box works best and avoid sites such as the top of fences that make it easier for predators to get at the box.

  8. I’m having trouble viewing the cameras?

    Visitors sometimes experience technical problems when trying to view the live stream cameras. A multi-lingual message usually appears on the camera display if we are aware of the issues. Please be patient, we will try and get the feeds back up and running as soon as we can.