The tawny owl is nocturnal and therefore not often seen during daylight. Its familiar hooting 'hoo hoo - hoohoo' call is usually heard at night; a loud 'kee - wick' call may be heard mainly in the autumn.



Tawny owls pair up and choose nest sites in the autumn. A hole in a mature deciduous tree, such as an oak, is a favourite place, but old nests, or crevices in rocks and buildings may also be used.

The male courts the female for several weeks before mating by bringing her food. Sometimes they display by swaying and may also preen each other.

A clutch of 2 - 5 white eggs is laid from about March onwards at intervals of up to a week apart. The female incubates the eggs, starting with the first egg, which means that the young hatch at different times and so vary greatly in size. She sits on the chicks while her mate brings food. The incubation period is 28 - 30 days. The young are fed by both parents until they are two or three months old although they can fly at about 5 weeks of age. Eventually they are evicted from the nest and find territories of their own. Only one brood a year is produced.

Read More: Tawny Owl Habits

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