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Essex Field Club
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Tawny Owl Survey

Tawny Owl 2 Copyright: Ralph Hancock
Photograph copyright Ralph Hancock

Add a Tawny Owl Record

The Essex Tawny Owl Survey started on January 1st 2016 and will now run until April 30th 2020. The survey is supported by the Essex Birdwatching Society ( link), the Premier Bird Organisation in Essex, and the Essex Field Club, the County's oldest natural history society.

The survey is a very simple one which depends upon help from members of the public, whether they belong to any wildlife organisation or not. All you need is a little bit of patience, and the ability to hear and recognise the owl's hoot.

The Tawny Owl is often regarded as a common bird which is in no need of protection. Indeed in some parts of the Essex countryside, the familiar hooting of these birds may be heard from nearly all of the surrounding woods, especially in the autumn.

In mid-November 2015, plans were laid to carry out the first county survey in Britain of this lovely owl and by the end of the month everything was in place.

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It is no surprise to learn, in early December, that following on from the latest "Birds of Conservation Concern" report, the Tawny Owl had been officially placed on the amber list of species of conservation concern. Previously it was a green listed species that was considered to be under no threat. Now though, after suffering a steady long-term decline, concerns are being raised for the welfare of this familiar species. So this survey comes at an appropriate time.

If you like to take part in this important bird survey, from Jan 1st you will either be able to enter your records from the form here, or:

you can also download a recorders' pack with recording guidelines and a recording form spreadsheet. Details of the survey, and where to send the records, can also be found on the website of the Essex Birdwatching Society link.