BTO Tawny Owl Point Survey Starting 15th August

19th July 2018 | Ken White

The BTO's core monitoring schemes suggest a recent decline in Tawny Owls, but as they are daytime surveys, they do not give a full picture for this species.

Out of 6,000 pre-selected random tetrads (2x2km squares) in the UK, there are 113 within a 25 mile radius of Reading available at the start of the survey. We want to survey as many of these as possible, and depending on local interest, expand this over the course of the survey. The methodology for this new survey is a straight forward point count from as near the centre of a tetrad as possible, and is open to anyone who would like to take part.

The first survey period will run from August 15th until October 15th 2018. During this time we ask you to make one to three (ideally at least two) short evening visits to your chosen tetrad within as short a period as possible. The whole process is planned to be repeated between mid-February and mid-March 2019, and (funding permitting) in autumn 2019/spring 2020.

The Berkshire tetrads are in three blocks centred on Thatcham/Tadley, Wokingham/Sandhurst and Windsor. Please check the tetrads available in your area and sign up to survey one:

The calls of Tawny Owls are very distinctive and so this survey is very suitable for those new to bird surveys as well as core BTO surveyors. The resources page of the same website has a number of recordings for you to listen to as practice:

In addition, there will be a Tawny Owl Calling Survey between September and March see the same webpage.

Please contact us if you have any queries.

Ken and Sarah White