The Tawny owl is found in all of Europe except for Ireland and northern Scandinavia, in North Africa (Algeria, Morocco
and Tunesia), Iran, Russia except for the northern parts, north-western India, the Himalayas, southern China, Korea and Taiwan.
There are several subspecies which differ in colour, some being more brown, others more grey. Tawny owl males are 41-44 cm
long and weigh 410-550 g, females are 43-46 cm long and weigh 410-800 g. The wing span is 91-95 cm in males and 94-105 cm
in females. A black stripe runs over the head and stops above the eyes. The eyes themselves are very large and brownish black.
Tawny owls inhabit mostly deciduous, sometimes also coniferous forests, open parklands and even city parks. They defend
a territory where they stay all year round. These territories may range from 12 ha to 102 ha, depending on habitat type and
prey density. They hunt only by night, perching quitly until they spot a prey animal, then gliding down or dropping onto it.
Sometimes they pick birds off their nest or roosting perch. Prey consists mostly of mice and voles (2/3 of the menu), also
of small birds, moles, frogs, earthworms and insects, especially beetles. Usually, the prey is immediately killed by the powerful
claws, sometimes a blow from the beak on its skull is used.
Tawny owls are as a rule monogamous, the pair bond lasting
for life. Territories are established and nesting sites chosen in October and November. Courting starts from December to February.
Tree holes, old nests of Crows, Buzzards or Sparrow-hawks and sometimes rock crevices are used as nesting sites. Nest boxes
are also used if available. In mid-March or April 2 to 5 eggs are laid, usually with intervals of 48 hours. They are incubated
by the female for 28-30 days. The young leave the nest after 4 or 5 weeks, but depend on their parents feeding them for 3
months more. Within a year the young have reached sexual maturity and have to find a territory of their own. Tawny owls may
live up to 19 years in the wild and 27 years in captivity.