Captured at the Hawk Trust, Weyhill, Hampshire for Francesca by Nikon D3000/RAW and downloaded in Windows Picture Gallery

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The Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is a stocky, medium-sized owl which is common in woodlands across much of Eurasia. Its underparts are pale with dark streaks, and the upperparts are either brown or grey, with several of the eleven recognised subspecies having both variants. The nest is typically in a tree hole, and eggs and young are fiercely defended against potential predators. This owl is non-migratory and highly territorial, and many young birds starve if they cannot find a vacant territory once parental care ceases.

This nocturnal bird of prey hunts mainly rodents, usually by dropping from a perch to seize its victim, which is swallowed whole, although in more urban areas its diet includes a higher proportion of birds. Its night hunting is aided by vision and hearing adaptations and silent flight. The Tawny is capable of catching smaller owls, but may itself be killed by the Eagle Owl or Northern Goshawk, and foxes are an important cause of mortality in newly fledged young.

Although this owl is often claimed to have exceptional night vision, its retina is no more sensitive than a human’s, but its asymmetrically placed ears give the Tawny Owl excellent directional hearing. Its nighttime habits and eerie, easily imitated call have led to an association in myth with bad luck and death.

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Comments

  • Photography  by Mathilde
    Photography b...about 2 years ago

    – Framed Print

  • Mark Hughes
    Mark Hughesabout 2 years ago

    Lovely capture Mattie.

  • Thank you very much Mark – best wishes, Mattie

    – Photography by Mathilde

  • Robin Brown
    Robin Brownabout 2 years ago

    The Fluffy Silent Assasin!
    Don’t hoot I’m on your side!
    Your very Talon’ted Mattie WTG sister fabulicious shot :o) xx

  • Wild thing, you make my heart sing….with your fabiosous compliment – thank you Robin ;-o) xx

    – Photography by Mathilde

  • mrcoradour
    mrcoradourabout 2 years ago

    WOW Mattie this is the perfect shot a favorite

  • Thank you so much Malcolm – I am delighted that you like this. Thank you also for the FAV – Mattie :)

    – Photography by Mathilde

  • Carla Maloco
    Carla Malocoabout 2 years ago

    Super portrait.Great profile.

  • Many thanks Carla – really appreciate your lovely comment !

    – Photography by Mathilde

  • Maree Cardinale
    Maree Cardinaleabout 2 years ago

    Wow, what an amazing capture Mattie!

  • Thank you so much Maree – :)

    – Photography by Mathilde

  • R-Summers
    R-Summersabout 2 years ago

    Good Lord!! Well done my friend, very well taken …..Ron xxx

  • Many, many thanks Ron, my friend, for your lovely comment -iso pleased you like this capture xx Mattie xx

    – Photography by Mathilde

  • Deborah Lazarus
    Deborah Lazarusabout 2 years ago


    Wonderful work !!! Bravo!!!
    Your host, Deb
    October 19, 2012

  • Thank you so much for this feature, Deborah, it is much appreciated – regards, Mattie

    – Photography by Mathilde

  • Susie Peek
    Susie Peekabout 2 years ago

    Gorgeous owl and capture Mattie ~ lovely colour and detail on the eye :)

  • Your comment is lovely, Susie – thank you so much ;)

    – Photography by Mathilde

  • Al Bourassa
    Al Bourassaabout 2 years ago

    Awesome detail.

  • Thank you very much Al – really pleased that you like this close up ;)

    – Photography by Mathilde

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