State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Strix aluco Linnaeus, 1758

Vernacular Name
Tawny Owl
Conservation status
Value of species
Strix aluco and S. nivicolum (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as S. aluco following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993). This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern. In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 535,000-939,000 pairs, which equates to 1,070,000-1,880,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c. 80% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 1,400,000-2,400,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. The population is therefore placed in the band 1,000,000-2,999,999 mature individuals. Trend Justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The European population trend is unknown (BirdLife International 2015). The primary habitat of this species is broad-leaved forest, however it adapts well to man-made and altered habitats. It is found in urban areas, clear-felled areas and intensive agricultures. In woodland habitats it inhabits mixed conifer and broad-leaved forests, sub-alpine conifer forest and conifer plantations (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). It is monogamous and pairs for life, although is occasionally bigamous. The breeding season is from February to July (Holt et al. 1999). It nests in holes in trees, cliffs, buildings and steep river banks. Also often uses, nestboxes, the old nests of large birds, burrows of large mammals (König 2008), dreys of squirrels (Sciurus) (Holt et al. 1999) and shallow depressions on the ground at the base of a tree or beneath a bush. Typically it lays three to five eggs (König 2008). It feeds on small mammals and small birds and will also consume amphibians, reptiles, earthworms, snails, beetles and other insects and occasionally fish (Holt et al. 1999). The species is sedentary and highly territorial (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997).
Book reference
  • Котенко Т.И., Ардамацкая Т.Б., Дубина Д.В. и др. Биоразнообразие Джарылгача: современное состояние и пути сохранения // Вісник зоології. – 2000. – Спец. випуск. – 240 с.
  • Літопис природи. Природний заповідник «Медобори». 2018, т.26. – Гримайлів, 2019. – 509 с.
  • Літопис природи. Природний заповідник «Розточчя». 2018, т.32. – Івано-Франкове, 2019. – 000 с.
  • Проект організації території Чорноморського біосферного заповідника НАН України та охорони його природних комплексів. Ч. 1. К.- 2016. 300 с.

Taxonomic branch