Flora and fauna
in forest park Háj-Nicovô

Tawny owl

Strix aluco

Tawny owl

The tawny owl is a relatively abundant owl species. It has a round head with big black eyes and a short tail. In nature, we see it in two color forms – rusty and gray with different transitions, which perfectly camouflage it when resting in tree crowns.

It enjoys old deciduous or mixed forests, and large parks, but it can be found in the entire territory of Slovakia, from the lowlands to the upper forest border. It can be found wherever there are suitable conditions for shelter, e.g., old trees.

For nesting, an owl seeks tree hollows, cottage attics, tree stands, rock cavities but also willingly uses installed birdhouses. When mating, the male utters a characteristic and unmistakable “hoo-ha HOO-hoo-hoo” sound. The male can be heard after dark, at night and sometimes in broad daylight.

Since the tawny owl is very territorial (staying in its nest all year round), it is also aggressive near its nest. Its presence can sometimes be revealed by the warning calls of little singing birds which surround it when discovered.

Its food varies depending on availability. An owl feeds on small rodents and birds but also amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. It hunts its prey from an elevated place or during low search flights at dusk and night.

Do you know?
Owls have excellent hearing, about 50 times better than humans, using skin folds - a kind of ear lobe hidden in feathers. Due to this ability, they can locate their prey with an accuracy of one degree. In addition, they also have excellent eyesight. Thanks to a large number of light-sensitive cells, they can see well, even in poorly lit conditions but not in complete darkness. They cannot move their eyes, and have a visual field of only 160°, but this is balanced with a great ability of being able to turn their heads up to 270°.

↑ Up