Survey Completed Autumn 2018
Despite being widespread, we know surprisingly little about our Tawny Owl population. The BTO's core monitoring schemes do suggest a recent decline but as they are daytime surveys, they can't show us the full picture.
Why survey Tawny Owls nationally?
We get better information on how Tawny Owl populations are doing by carrying out periodic targeted surveys. BTO previously carried out national structured surveys for Tawny Owls in Britain in the autumns of 1989 and 2005. So by carrying out a comparable survey during autumn 2018 (August 15th - October 15th 2018) that also takes advantage of modern statistical techniques, we aimed to get an up to date measure of change in their occupancy and populations as well as habitat associations and geographical patterns. Through this, we hope to learn more about our noisy but often mysterious neighbours.
Tawny Owl Point Survey structure
This survey involved volunteers visiting random preselected tetrads (2x2km squares). In total there were over 6,000 tetrads available at the start of the survey, of which approximately 2650 were surveyed previously in 1989 and/or 2005. Over 2900 of these tetrads were surveyed during autumn 2018 making it the largest and most in-depth survey of Tawny Owls ever.
The survey was carried out during the autumn of 2018 and some very provisional results can be found here. We hope to release more complete results in the near future. Thank you to everyone who took part!