'Plop' was hatched in 2006. She was named after a baby owl in the children's book: 'The Owl who was afraid of the dark'. The first Owl Evening she was flown on, she was actually frightened! Now she used to evening/night flying.

Female owls are often up to a third larger and heavier than their male counterparts. That said, it can still be difficult to tell males and females apart without DNA analysis. As such, for a long time Plop was thought of as a male; it was only discovered that "he" was a "she" when she laid an egg!

'Plop' is the only resident Tawny Owl that we house at the centre, but throughout the year we have many Tawny Owls and other raptors brought into the centre for rehabilitation - click here for more details - however, these wild birds of prey are not on public display.

In the wild

The Tawny Owl is the most common species of owl in the UK and is the only species of owl that makes the well known "twit-twoo" hoot.

Origin: Throughout Europe and parts of South Eastern Asia and Northern Africa.

Diet: Takes a wide variety of mammals, birds, frogs, reptiles and even fish; larger insects, earthworms, snails etc also form part of the diet. Largest mammal prey are rats and squirrels; largest birds are pigeons.

Habitat: Semi-open deciduous and mixed forest with clearings , parks, larger gardens with old trees and open landscape with wooded patches. Very adaptable species and is found in towns and cities where timbered gardens or tree-lined pavements are present.

The Tawny Owl is polymorphic: i.e. is found in different colour forms with grey, brown and rufous morphs, as well as intermediates between these. They are generally nocturnal, but sometimes active during daylight when they have young to feed.

SPECIES FACTFILE

LENGTH: 37-39cm

WINGSPAN: 94-104cm

WEIGHT: 440-550g

EGGS IN CLUTCH: 3-5

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