There are five species of owl in Britain: the British Barn owl, Tawny owl, Little owl, Short-eared owl and Long-eared owl; and all are causing some degree of concern to conservationists. Experts are also studying whether Eagle owls are definitively breeding in the wild here, and whether the introduction of this species will pose problems for native wildlife.
Owls in the British countryside, and particularly Barn owls, face a number of challenges from changes to their environment. These include changes in agricultural practice, fewer suitable nesting sites and the building of new roads. Their numbers are believed to have fallen dramatically in recent years and there are many conservation projects dedicated to help them overcome these challenges.
Here are the British owls we have at the sanctuary:
Scientific name: Asio otus
Height: 310mm to 400mm
Geographical distribution:Very large range extending across northern Eurasia as well as Mediterranean islands, north-western Africa, the Middle East and northern Pakistan, with isolated populations in the Azores and east-central China.
Habitat: Forest close to open country, partially migratory, moving south in winter from the northern parts of its temperate range.
Diet: Mostly rodents; small mammals and birds.
Status: Widespread and relatively common in its range.
Here is the name of the Long Eared owl we have at the sanctuary:
Scientific name: Asio flammeus
Height: 340mm to 430mm
Geographical distribution: UK, North & Central Europe, North Asia, North & South America
Habitat: Tundra, marsh, moor, grassland
Diet: Small mammals, especially voles, also some birds; will hunt by day or night
Status: Declining in the UK, threatened or endangered in some states
Here are the names of the Short Eared owls we have at the sanctuary:
Scientific name: Athene noctua
Height: 190mm to 230mm
Geographical distribution: Europe, central and eastern Asia, north Africa and Middle East
Habitat: woodland, cultivations, parks and semi-deserts
Diet: insects and other anthropods, small reptiles, frogs, birds and earthworms
Status: declining in localised areas
Here are the names of the Little owls we have at the sanctuary:
Scientific name: Strix aluco
Height: 360mm to 460mm
Geographical distribution: Europe, Asia, North Africa, Middle East
Habitat: Mixed coniferous or deciduous woodland, woodland edge
Diet: Wide variety of prey, often opportunists
Status: Common species
Here are the names of the Tawny owls we have at the sanctuary:
Scientific name: Tyto alba
Height: 330mm to 430mm
Geographical distribution: north, central and south America, Europe, Africa, southern and south-eastern Asia, Australasia
Habitat: grasslands, cultivations, scrub and forest edge
Diet: mostly rodents; occasionally small birds, bats and other prey
Status: widespread, locally threatened
Here are the names of the British barn owls we have at the sanctuary: