BUZZ – TAWNY OWL
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Hatch Year: 2013
Arrival to WBS: 2013
Reason for Residence: hatched in captivity
Buzz was hatched at World Bird Sanctuary to parents Boris and Whisper. She was hand raised by staff and as a young bird loved to chase any and every loudly buzzing insect she came across, thus earning her name. Buzz joined the education team at the Office of Wildlife Learning where she learned glove flights, and for years was one of the stars of our Owl Prowl programs. With time Buzz became less enamored with her flying fame, and preferred to sit in place when asked to fly. So in 2018 she was retired from flying in programs and is now rather content to be walked around on the glove instead.
When not on her performing season, Buzz can be found out in her public enclosure behind the Gift Shop and Visitor center. She still gets to show off at Owl Prowls, only now rather than flying over audiences she can often be heard calling to them during the “prowl” portions of the evenings.
SPECIES: TAWNY OWL
CONSERVATION STATUS: LEAST CONCERN
The Tawny Owl is a common bird, especially in central Europe. A mid-1990s estimate of the European population was 400,000-800,000 pairs. Globally, the population may be estimated anywhere from 1 million to nearly 3 million individuals. “Tawnies” are by far the most common owl species in the UK, with an estimated population of 50,000 pairs (2005). Nevertheless, they are amber-listed as a Species of Conservation Concern in the UK as a result of recent breeding and winter population and range decline.
Scientific Name: Strix aluco
Description: plumage is chestnut brown, heavily mottled with grey, brown and black streaks; face is round with deep set black eyes; plumage pattern gives this bird a blocky, thick-set look; like the Barred Owl to which it is related, it lacks ear tufts
Sex: male and female similar in appearance; females slightly larger than males
Age: up to 18 years in the wild
Weight: 14-20 oz.
Habitat: woodlands, parks, and recently urban areas
Range: Tawny Owls are found throughout Europe and North Africa, including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and eastwards to Iran and western Siberia. Their range in Asia covers western India, the Himalayas, southern China, Korea and Taiwan. In Europe the Tawny owl is the most common and most widespread owl, being absent only in Ireland, the extreme north of Scotland, northern Russia, northern Scandinavia, Iceland and some of the Mediterranean islands.
Behavior: generally quite nocturnal, but are sometimes briefly active during daylight; highly territorial owl that seldom leaves its home range; monogamous and territorial year around.
Diet: small mammals and rodents, small birds, frogs, fish, insects and worms
Vocalization: The territorial hooting call of a male Tawny Owl is probably the most familiar of UK owl calls, beginning with a drawn out ‘hooo’, followed by a brief pause, before a softer ‘hu’ and then a resonant final phrase of ‘huhuhuhooo.
– This owl is so popular in Great Britain that it makes an appearance in many pieces of English literature, including “Winnie the Pooh” and the “Harry Potter” books.