Tawny Owl Calling Survey

Why we need your help

Are there Tawny Owls calling in your area?  By listening out for them in your garden or nearby green space you could help us to understand their calling behaviour and distribution, and to discover the impact of urbanisation and artificial lighting. 

We need your help, whether you usually hear Tawny Owls or not. Knowing where owls can't be heard is just as valuable as knowing where they can be heard.

It takes just 20 minutes

It's easy to take part - just listen for 20 minutes during at least one evening between now and 31 March 2019. You can listen from your garden, local park or woodland. You can even listen whilst lying in bed with the window open! All information is valuable, even zero counts (you'll be a #zerohero!).

If you enjoy taking part you can repeat your survey in subsequent weeks. The more weeks that you can listen the better, but you can do as many or as few weeks as you are able. Gaps between weeks don't matter.

You can listen for their familiar 'hooting' and 'kee-wick' calls any time between sunset and midnight. All we ask is that you tell us the date, start time of your survey, an estimate of cloud cover and importantly whether or not you hear an owl. If you hear a Tawny Owl at another time of the week outside the survey period you will also be able to record this. You record your weekly results online.

Download the


If you'd prefer to record on paper recording sheets rather than use our online system, you can - please email us at gbw [at] bto.org or call us on 01842 750050.

What to listen out for

Male Tawny Owl Call
Female Tawny Owl Contact Call
Male and Female Tawny Owl Duet

Don't worry if you're not confident about what to listen out for - Take a look at our Learn About Owls pages to find audio recordings and much more.