The British Trust for Ornithology is aiming to recruit gardeners to help with an autumn/winter owl survey.
There were thought to be some 20,000 tawny owls (Strix aluco
) around 1990 but more recent evidence suggests that numbers may have fallen by about a third since 1994. The tawny owl is the most common and familiar of the British owls and its calls are very familiar to many suburban householders. Now the BTO
would like to recruit these people to help estimate the numbers of birds left. The survey only involves around 20 minutes per week spent listening for tawny owls from your house or garden. Mike Toms of the BTO says 'This survey is so easy that it can be done from the comfort of your own bed, listening through an open window or from an armchair on your patio! We are asking for volunteers to record when the owls are calling and the type of calls that are heard. For those people unsure what a Tawny Owl sounds like we have a dedicated "Owlaphone" that you can call to listen to Tawny Owls'
To take part in the survey, call the BTO on 01842 750050, email at firstname.lastname@example.org
, or write to Tawny Owl Survey, Garden BirdWatch, BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2PU
BTO. 2005. Counting birds you can't see. BTO Press Release No. 2005/09/28.