Tawny Owl - 'Strix aluco'
Truffle, Pip and Tinker
Pip arrived in a cardboard box as a small item of fluff aged about 10 days in 2002. He was found on the main road at the bottom of Porlock Hill, with his dead sibling beside him, having fallen from a nest in a tall tree. He was too young to leave for the parents to care for, as he had not yet reached the 'branching out', lets discover things, stage, and had to be brought into care. Having done so it is difficult to rehabilitate a hand reared tawny owl as they have not been trained to hunt, and so we kept him here.
Like Caspar he too has been flown in our outside displays, and then brought into the Owl Show in the Barn in 2009. His flight pattern is slow and deliberate, from post to pounce, to catch his prey. Since that time he has variously been flown inside and outside, and now in his retiring years is happiest in the close proximity of the Owl Barn. He is a very popular little guy and flies well to children and adults.
Tinker the Second: is also a rescued tawny owl, rehomed here after requiring a new home by his previous owners. He is probably quite an old owl, but has been well handled, and has enjoyed flying free in the field. Tinker is now on retirement and we eagerly await the arrival of a new, baby Tawny Owl........
Truffle is our new baby Tawny Owl 2019, and is currently a great favourite with our visitors as they fly in the Owl Barn to the gloved hand. He is amazingly responsive to his handlers, and being a youngster, talks all the time. Truffle will be one of the big 'star' at the Centre in future years - everyone loves Tawny Owls! Meanwhile Tinker and Pip exit into gentle retirement!
In the wild Tawny Owls live mainly in woodlands and wooded residential areas, and are generalist feeders preferring beetles, insects, small birds, small mammals and carrion on the roadside. Sadly many get hit by cars in country lanes. They catch their prey by waiting on a branch in total silence, then pouncing to the ground.
Tawny Owls nest in hollows in trees or walls, and protect their youngsters fiercely. Beware of nesting tawnies if you approach their young, as they aim straight for the eyes and are deemed to be the most dangerous bird in Europe!
We have many Tawny Owls in our area, and you will often hear them at night when you stay B&B in our Farmhouse - one of the joys of living in the country!
All our owls are with us at Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre to help us all appreciate the amazing relationship between mankind and our natural environment and to enable us to understand their unique personalities and hunting styles..... a reflection of our own lives perhaps. A life without the natural world is no life at all. We enjoy sharing our Friends at our Centre, to encourage all our visitors to rediscover their connection with nature and a healthy environment - without which mankind is unable to survive.