The tawny owl

Strix aluco

The tawny owl is a very night-active owl that sits close to the trunk of a dense spruce during the day. The tawny owl’s sound is the one that most people mimic when they try to sound like an owl.


The tawny owl is the most common owl in Sweden. It is most active at night and during the day it stays close to the trunk of a dense spruce. The sound they make is the same as the one most people mimic when they are trying to sound like an owl. Tawny owls have a pale underside with dark streaks and are either brown or grey on top. They have a wingspan of up to one meter.

They eat everything possible. Small rodents and birds are most common, but also frogs, lizards, insects and worms. Tawny owls mate for life with the females incubating the eggs themselves. They nest in trees ornesting boxes.

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Class: Bird

Scientific name: Strix aluco

Conservation status: LC

Size: Between 37-39 cm long with a wingspan of 94-104 cm.

Weight: 500-700 gram

Number of eggs: 3-5

Did you know that:

The highest known age in the wild of a tawny owl is 18 years, but it can live up to 27 years in captivity.

According to old Swedish folk belief, the tawny owl’s voice announces a weather change, or death if it screams in the nighttime near residential houses.

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Conservation status

Least concern
Least concern

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