Essex Tawny Owl Survey

On January 1st 2016, a survey of the Tawny Owl Strix aluco will commence in Essex and this has the support of the Essex Birdwatching Society and the Essex Field Club.

The Tawny Owl is often regarded as a common species which requires no special conservation effort.  However, the latest ‘State of the Nation’s Birds 2015’ once more confirms that this bird is undergoing a steady, shallow, long term decline, though unlike many other bird species, there are no firm baseline figures with which to confirm this. Consequently, to the best of my knowledge, this will be the first countywide survey in Britain that will set out to provide a solid baseline population figure for the Tawny Owl that can be used for future monitoring.

It may be that this over-looked species may prove to be a useful indicator with which to monitor the health of our woods, which in turn might have important implications for other woodland species, and not just birds.

Please help with this survey if you can. It’s quite simple. All we require are records throughout the year of hooting birds. In the next edition of ‘Essex Birding’ there will be further details, but in the meantime the survey will be officially launched on the occasion of the Essex Field Club’s Annual Exhibition and Social at the Wat Tyler Country Park on December 5th, where all are welcome. More details of how to submit sightings to follow .....

Jeff Martin

Surveys for 2012 covered the following species.

Turtle Dove Submit a record   

Cuckoo Submit a record

Tree Sparrow Submit a record

Bullfinch Submit a record

Corn Bunting Submit a record