• Hay-Day Walks

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    Discover more about Cumbria's upland hay meadows and the work being done to restore them on the Hay-Day walks.

    Hay-Day Walks

  • Protecting Wildlife For The Future

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    Help Cumbria Wildlife Trust conserve the wildlife and wild places of Cumbria for the future.

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© Margaret Holland

Tawny Owl (Strix aluco)

Our most common nocturnal  bird of prey. In Cumbria they are widely distributed, most numerous in sheltered woodland valleys but not found in the exposed treeless areas of the high fells. Breeding pairs in Cumbria estimated at 5,000 in 2001.

 

Habitat – found in deciduous and coniferous forest, also on farmland and gardens including in towns

Appearance
– 37–39 cm. Similar size to a woodpigeon. Flight is fast direct and silent.

Voice – familiar  “hooo hoo hoo” which is the male proclaiming his territory, the female sounds hoarser, sometimes there is a sharp “kee wick” .

Food – small mammals, insects , birds, frogs & earthworms

Population changes / Conservation – Formerly persecuted in game rearing areas, also suffered as victims of traffic on roads. Population has declined due to changes in agricultural practices and harsh winters which limit available prey.
Numbers helped by the provision of nest boxes and the variety in their diet. Population is currently fairly stable.