Its another fine spring-like day here at Loch of the Lowes.
It won’t be long at all now before the birds coming to the feeding station have hungry broods of extra mouths to feed.
Speaking of nesting, a visitor asked me the other day about a long rectangular box they’d seen slung beneath the sloping branch of a tree in the woods beside the loch here. This is the home of our classic ‘brown’ woodland owl, the Tawny owl.
Tawny owls are widespread throughout the UK and can be found in woodland and large gardens with trees, where they will feed on anything from earthworms to rabbits. They are famed for their “twit twoo” call, which in fact are a combination of the “ke-wick” contact call and the male’s “hoo-hoo-oooo” territorial call. So more often than not what you are hearing will be a conversation between a male & female male or two males.
Tawny owls will nest in relatively small spaces and this is reflected in nest box designs. They are sensitive to disturbance, particularly whilst on eggs and will defend their nest site aggressively if you get to close. Careful consideration should therefore be given when deciding where to site a nest box; for example, a garden with small children may not be appropriate.