available on the internet (continued)




Forestry Commission (2001) Web page

2001 press release with some information about Tawny Owl studies being conducted over the next five years in Kielder Forest, Northumberland, NE England. No updates known.

View 2001 press release here

(See also Hoelzel (2003) for details of a NERC-funded study of the Kielder tawnies.)


Francis and Saurola (2004) PDF

Estimating components of variance in demographic parameters of Tawny Owls, Strix aluco.

C.M. Francis and P. Saurola

Animal Biodiversity and Conservation vol. 27 no. 1 (2004), 489-502.

Direct pdf download (from Directory of Open Access Journals): click here.

("Survival rates of Tawny Owls (Strix aluco) were estimated using recapture and recovery data from approximately 20,000 nestling and adult owls ringed between 1980 and 1999 in southern Finland. ... ")


Galeotti and Sacchi (2003) Abstract only

Differential parasitaemia in the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco): effects of colour morph and habitat.

Paolo Galeotti and Roberto Sacchi

Journal of Zoology vol. 261 (2003), 91-9.

View abstract here.

(Rufous morphs have more parasites than grey and it affects their breeding success.)


Gancz et al (2004) Web page, PDF available

Detecting West Nile virus in owls and raptors by an antigen-capture assay.

Ady Y. Gancz, Douglas G. Campbell, Ian K. Barker, Robbin Lindsay and Bruce Hunter

Dispatch in Emerging Infectious Diseases vol. 10 no. 12 (2004), 2204-6.

Full text here, with option to download pdf. (Mainly concerned with assessing the effectiveness of a test on owls that died at a rehab centre in Ontario in 2002. The one little tawny that died had WNV)


Gold and Knudsen (2001) Web page

Adaptive adjustment of connectivity in the inferior colliculus revealed by focal pharmacological inactivation.

Joshua I. Gold and Eric I. Knudsen

Journal of Neurophysiology vol. 85 no. 4 (April 2001), 1575-84.

(Complete text online here. Exploring the linked references following this paper leads to the fascinating and detailed work that has been done on how Barn Owls localise (pinpoint) sound sources. We must suppose that the Tawny Owl has much the same auditory setup. A layman's explanation of Konishi and Knudsen's work on the auditory system of the Barn Owl here and here. A selected list of Masakazu Konishi's publications here. Eric I. Knudsen's full publication list in this pdf (direct download). A formidable inventory of work on owl hearing.)


Hambling and Alexander (2008) Web page

Delayed incubation in three species of owl — Tawny Owl, Barred Owl and Great Horned Owl

Romilly Hambling with Bill Alexander

Available on this website

An article presenting evidence that some species of owl appear to practise delayed incubation in order to synchronise hatching times and reduce the period over which fledging occurs.


Hatt, Baumgartner and Isenbugel (1995) PDF

Raptor rehabilitation - practical experiences for the evaluation of injured animals.

Jean-Michel Hatt, Ruth Baumgartner and Ewald Isenbugel

Clinic for Zoo Animals and Exotic Pets, University of Zurich.

Direct pdf download: click here. (pdf displays poorly)

(Based on 554 birds, including 37 Tawny Owls, another catalogue of the misfortunes these birds encounter.)


Heidrich and Wink (1994) PDF

Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) and Hume's Tawny Owl (Strix butleri) are distinct species: evidence from nucleotide sequences of the cytochrome b gene.

P. Heidrich and M. Wink

Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C vol. 49 no. 3/4 (1994), 230-4.

Direct pdf download from Prof. Wink's publications page here.


Hendrichsen et al (2006) PDF

Exposure affects the risk of an owl being mobbed - experimental evidence.

Ditte K. Hendrichsen, Peter Christiansen, Elsemarie K. Nielsen, Torben Dabelsteen and Peter Sunde

Journal of Avian Biology vol. 37 issue 1 (2006), 13-18.

Download pdf here: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com . . .


Henrioux and Henrioux (2004) Abstract only

Vingt-cinq ans de suivi de Chouettes hulottes Strix aluco dans l’Ouest lémanique (Vaud et Genève). (Reproduction and displacements of the Tawny Owl Strix aluco in Western Switzerland (Cantons of Vaud and Geneva)). Language not stated; abstract available in english.

P. Henrioux and J.-D. Henrioux

Nos oiseaux no. 477, vol. 51 issue 3 (September 2004), no pagination given.

View english abstract here (Nos oiseaux).

(25-year study based on 130 nestboxes (1,719 owls ringed) in nearly 7,000 ha of western Swiss forest. Average clutch size 3.77, but 25% of broods lost due predation and forestry work. Box occupation higher in oak than beech wood.)


Hoelzel (2003) Web page

Details of two NERC PhD studentships starting October 2003. Project 2 is: "Extra-pair paternities and genomic correlates to lifetime reproductive success in the Tawny Owl", a study to be based on blood samples from 781 Kielder owls, including 171 nesting pairs, collected in 1994-98. So, do tawnies have extra-marital affairs? Can't wait to know!

View page here

See also Forestry Commission (2001) on Tawny Owl studies in Kielder Forest, Northumberland, NE England.


Jedrzejewski et al (1994) Abstract only

Resource use by Tawny owls Strix aluco in relation to rodent fluctuations in Bialowieza National Park, Poland.

W. Jedrzejewski, B. Jedrzejewski, K. Zub, A.L. Ruprecht and C. Bystrowski

Journal of Avian Biology vol. 25 (1994), 308-18.

(Abstract not locatable).


Jedrzejewski et al (1996) Abstract only

Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) predation in a pristine deciduous forest (Bialowieza National Park, Poland).

Wlodzimierz Jedrzejewski, Bogumila Jedrzejewska, Arkadiusz Szymura and Karol Zub

Journal of Animal Ecology vol. 65, no. 1 (1996), 105-20.

View abstract here (CSA Illumina).


Jovanovic-Grove, Šćiban and Ružić (2008) Web page

Study of Tawny Owl Strix aluco (Linnaeus 1758) diet from pellet samples collected in Serbia during 2003 and 2004.

Tatjana Jovanovic-Grove (aka Tanja Sova), Marko Šćiban and Milan Ružić

On The Owl Pages website, Studies and Papers section, here.

(Summary of abstract: Pellets from three localities were studied: Zvezdara (Belgrade), and the caves of Potpeć and Petnica. Remains of a wide diversity of small mammals were found, with a total of 387 vertebrate prey items. Also an undetermined number of invertebrates — Lumbriculidae (Annelida, Oligochaeta), Coleoptera and Odonata (Arthropoda, Insecta). The most abundant prey items were rodent species, especially mice and dormice. Remains of voles, bats, shrews, moles and a squirrel were also present in the pellets. A total of 20 mammal species were identified. Birds formed a minor part of the diet in all localities. Study backs the view that the Tawny Owl is an opportunist in its diet as well as a good indicator of small mammal distribution in woodland ecosystems.)


Krone et al (2001) PDF

Haemosporida of birds of prey and owls from Germany.

Oliver Krone, Jurgen Priemer, Jurgen Streich, Paul Sommer, Torsten Langgemach and Olaf Lessow

Acta Protozoologica vol. 40 (2001), 281-9.

Direct pdf download: click here.

(Count of blood parasites in 173 free-living owls (6 species) showed Tawny Owls to have the highest incidence of infection, with 1 in 5 (of 73 birds) carrying Haemoproteus syrnii. No parasites were found in the Barn Owl (31 birds), Tengmalm's Owl (1), Short-eared Owl (1), Little Owl (1) or European Eagle Owl (8). The birds had been admitted to rehabilitation centres.)


Kutzer, Frey and Nobauer (1982) Abstract only

Parasite fauna of Austrian owls (Strigiformes). [Article in German]

E. Kutzer, H. Frey and H. Nobauer

Angewandte Parasitologie vol. 23 no. 4 (1982), 190-7.

View english abstract here (PubMed).

(Endo- and ectoparasite study of 182 owls of 10 European species.)


Laaksonen, Hakkarainen and Korpimaki (2004) PDF

Lifetime reproduction of a forest-dwelling owl increases with age and area of forests.

Toni Laaksonen, Harri Hakkarainen and Erkki Korpimaki

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences vol. 271, Biology Letters Supplement 6, 7 December 2004, S461-4.

Download pdf from Royal Society here.

(Article is about Tengmalm's Owl but included here because of relevance to Tawny Owls (both are cavity nesters). Reproductive success was found to be correlated with age of forests. Dr Harri Hakkarainen's group studied the effects of changing forest structures on individuals and populations of species between 1998 and 2005. Species were Treecreeper, Tengmalm’s Owl, Goshawk, Buzzard, Bank Vole and ants. Their list of publications can be found here.)


Lengagne and Slater (2002) PDF

The effects of rain on acoustic communication: Tawny Owls have good reason for calling less in wet weather.

T. Lengagne and P.J. Slater

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences vol. 269 no. 1505 (2002), 2121-5.

Download pdf from Royal Society here.


Lesiński, Gryz and Kowalski (2009) Abstract only

Bat predation by Tawny Owls Strix aluco in differently human-transformed habitats.

G. Lesiński, J. Gryz and M. Kowalski

Italian Journal of Zoology vol. 76 issue 4 (2009), 415-21.

Based on pellets collected at 152 sites in central and NE Poland in 1990-2008. Overall, of 17,908 items of vertebrate prey, 115 (0.64%) were bats. Unsurprisingly the proportion was highest in urban habitats (2.0%) and suburban forests (0.8%) and lowest in forest interiors (0.1%). 11 species of bats were identified.

Purchasable from this informaworld page, where the abstract can be read.


Lewis (2005)

Eurasian Tawny Owl - Strix aluco

Deane P. Lewis, The Owl Pages website

View web page here.

(Excellent and carefully prepared species account. Includes 9 photos, 4 recordings and distribution map. The recording of the chick is slightly puzzling and in my experience is not typical of a tawny chick of any age. Nor am I sure why the female should be described as showing aggression as the clip is within the range of normal female communication calls.)


Lierz, Gobel and Schuster (2002) Abstract only

Occurrence of parasites in indigenous birds of prey and owls. [Article in German]

M. Lierz, T. Gobel and R. Schuster

Berliner und Munchener Tierarztliche Wochenschrift vol. 115 no. 1-2 (2002), 43-52.

View english abstract here (PubMed).

(Owl sample is small: 6 individuals of 3 species, including 1 tawny.)


Lithner and Jönsson (2002) PDF

Abundance of owls and Bramblings Fringilla montifringilla in relation to mast seeding in south-eastern Sweden.

Stefan Lithner and K. Ingemar Jönnson

Ornis Svecica vol. 12 (2002), 35-45.

Read abstract and download pdf from this page on Eurobirding.

(Years of high mast (beech seed or nut) production good for rodents and so good for owls? This paper investigates.)


Manganaro et al (1999) Abstract only

Predation on geckos (Gekkonidae) by urban Tawny Owls (Strix aluco).

Alberto Manganaro, Luca Salvati, Lamberto Ranazzi and Simone Fattorini

Short Communication in (but not clear which issue!) Avocetta, either vol. 23, no. 1, June 1999 or vol. 23, no. 2, December 1999.

Abstract (in Italian) is on this Avocetta page.

(My translation of abstract: "The feeding regime of the Tawny Owl was studied by collecting pellets in 11 territories located in gardens, parks and woods in the urban environment of Rome. Of 3,750 prey items, geckos were caught regularly in 9 territories (82%) and are an important component in the diet of [the owls] in two territories (contributing respectively 17.5% and 7.2% in number [of items caught]). Predation on geckos was noted all the year, but increased significantly in the reproductive season.")


Marcot (1995) PDF

Owls of old forests of the world.

Bruce G. Marcot, US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

Report designation: USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rpt. PNW-GTR-343.

PDF downloadable in three parts from this USDA Pacific Northwest Research Station page. Total ca 8 Mb.

(Little about Tawny Owl, but places this "wood" owl in wider context of other wood-dwelling owls.)

Bruce Marcot's owl page is here: http://www.plexusowls.com/owls/owlpics.htm


Martin (1977)   Abstract only

Absolute visual threshold and scotopic spectral sensitivity in the tawny owl Strix aluco.

Graham R. Martin

Letters to Nature, Nature vol. 268, 636-38 (18 August 1977).

Abstract (below) from this Nature website page. Because this work is often mentioned in discussions of the sensitivity of owls' eyes at night, I've reproduced the abstract here. "Scotopic" vision is vision when the eye is dark-adapted; from Greek skotos, darkness.

Abstract: "It has long been assumed from considerations of the behaviour of owls that the vision of these species is much more sensitive than that of man. Experimental determinations of the absolute visual sensitivity of these birds have provided evidence in support of this view, suggesting that visual sensitivity in owls is of the order of 10 to 100 times (+1.0 log10 to +2.0 log10 units) that of man [2 ref citations]. Owing to calibration problems, however, these values were probably inaccurate by at least a factor of 10 [same 2 ref citations]. I report here that in at least one highly nocturnal owl species, visual sensitivity is only slightly higher than that of man, and that the increased sensitivity can be attributed to optical factors rather than to any increase in sensitivity at the retinal level. This suggests that retinal mechanisms in both man and owl have reached the ultimate in sensitivity for the duplex retinas of terrestrial vertebrates." [16 cited reference works follow]


Martin (1984) Abstract only

The visual fields of the Tawny Owl, Strix aluco L.

G.R. Martin

Vision Research vol. 24 no. 12 (1984), 1739-51.

Read abstract only here (PubMed).


Martin (1986) Abstract only

Sensory capacities and the nocturnal habit of owls (Strigiformes).

Graham R. Martin

Ibis, vol. 128 issue 2, 266-77. (Available online by subscription)

Abstract is reproduced below (from this Wiley InterScience page (Ibis)).

"Behavioural studies show that in the eye of the Tawny Owl Strix aluco both absolute visual sensitivity and maximum spatial resolution at low light levels are close to the theoretical limit dictated principally by the quantal nature of light and the physiological limitations on the structure of vertebrate eyes. However, when the owl's visual sensitivity in relation to naturally occurring ligh levels is analysed, it is concluded that at night there will often be occasions when vision can only be used to control the owl's behaviour with respect to large objects.

"Owls are capable of detecting and catching prey by hearing alone. However, absolute auditory sensitivity is not superior to that of mammals (including Man), but does appear to have reached the absolute limit on sensitivity in the aerial environment, which is dictated by the minimum ambient sound level.

"An explanation of the owl's ability to be active at night based only upon high sensory sensitivity is thus untenable. Many features of the natural behaviour of the Tawny Owl (e.g., the high degree of territoriality, prey catching technique, dietary spectrum) may be interpreted as reflections of an additional requirement for the nocturnal habit beyond high sensory sensitivity: detailed knowledge of local topography."

Comment: Fascinating. This goes completely against all the claims for almost other-worldly sensory sensitivity.


Martin, Gordon and Cadle (1975) Abstract only

Electroretinographically determined spectral sensitivity in the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco).

G.R. Martin, I.E. Gordon and D.R. Cadle

Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology vol. 89 no. 1 (1975), 72-8.

Read abstract only here (PubMed).


Mastrorilli, Barattieri and Cologni (no date) Web page

Unusual predations by a Tawny Owl Strix aluco couple in northern Italy.

Marco Mastrorilli, Matteo Barattieri and Fabio Cologni

From The Owl Pages here. Illustrated.

(Tawny Owls found to be eating Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus, and Grey Partridge, Perdix perdix — shock horror!)


Mead (1997) Web page

Birds and roads — wilderness and wildlife at risk.

Chris Mead

Lecture to the British Association for the Advancement of Science within the John Mason Conference of the British Ecological Society on Monday 9 September [1996?].

Full text available here on www.birdcare.com website, dated 10th January 1997. Single long page. Draws attention to road noise and the horrendous and growing phenomenon of deaths by collision with vehicles.


Newton, Wyllie and Dale (1997) PDF

Mortality causes in British Barn Owls (Tyto alba), based on 1,101 carcasses examined during 1963-1996.

I. Newton, I. Wyllie and L. Dale

In: 2nd Owl Symposium pp. 299-307.

Direct pdf download: click here.

(Included here as a definitive study and because although Barn Owls, which fly lower, are particularly vulnerable, Tawny Owls are subject to the same hazards.)



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