Strix aluco - Tawny owl:

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Summary Information
Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Strigiformes / Strigidae / Strix / Species
Alternative Names
  • Bosuil (Dutch)
  • Chouette hulotte (French)
  • Waldkauz (German)
  • Allocco (Italian)
  • Cárabo común (Spanish)
  • Kattuggla (Swedish)
Description Weight: Strix aluco aluco Male: 340-500g (B162); Female: 420-620g (B162)

Length: 38cm (B165); 37-43cm (B164); 37-39cm (B162)

Wingspan: 81-96cm (B164)

External Appearance:

  • Medium-size, compact, with rounded head. Mottled brown.
  • Head: fore-crown marked with pale stripes ('extra eyebrows') Facial disc large, Eyes black.
  • Upperparts tawny-brown (rufous-brown to grey-brown), with darker spots and streaks.Scapulars lined with white spots.
  • Breast pale and marked with crossed lines.
  • Wings barred.
  • Tail indistinctly barred.
  • (B162, B164, B165)
Range and Habitat Across Europe (not Ireland), parts of Asia (discontinuous, east to China and Korea, south to northern Iran and Himalayas), North Africa. Common and widespread (B162, B163, B164)

Accidental: Balearic Islands, Canary Islands (B162).

Mainly lowlands (B162).



  • Deciduous woodland, farmland, parks.
  • Also urban areas.
  • Where mature trees are present and preferably also water.
  • Rare in open country.
  • Sometimes use mature conifer plantations.

(B163, B164, B165)

Further Information Food:
  • Small mammals (voles and mice).
  • Other small vertebrates.
  • Insects.

(B163, B164)

Feeding Behaviour:

  • Hunt from perches, also hunt while flying.
  • Take birds at their roosts.



In tree holes, heights up to 12m (B163, B164).


  • 1-6, mean 2-5, number variable depending on food supply (B163).
  • White, unmarked, 47mm (B163).

Incubation: 28-30 days (B163).

Hatching: asynchronous (B163).

Chicks: semi-altricial (B163).

Fledging: 32-37 days (B163).

Breeding Behaviour: Monogamous. Show courtship-feeding and mutual preening (B163).

Incubation: by female (male brings food). Chicks: tended by both parents. Parental care to 2.5-3 months (B162).

Activity:Nocturnal (B163); in daytime roost on tree branch (B162).

Social Behaviour: Territorial all year but particularly while nesting - attack intruders. Established pairs defend territory throughout year (B163, B164).

Organisations (UK Contacts):

Electronic Library (further reading):

General Legislation:

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Individual techniques:

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