The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is asking people in Northumberland to listen out for tawny owls to help find out how they are doing.
Robert Jaques said, “This time of the year provides us with an opportunity to find out what is affecting tawny owl behaviour, including where they are, and just as important, where they aren’t.
“Getting involved couldn’t be simpler – it’s possible from the comfort of your sofa. Just listen for 20 minutes during at least one evening between now and spring. You can listen from your garden, local wood or park, and tell us whether or not you hear an owl.
“Don’t worry if you don’t hear one in your 20 minutes, that record is really valuable and you’ll be a zero hero.”
Anyone can take part in the survey, even in built-up areas. Evidence suggests that our tawny owl population is falling and it might be that we are losing them from our towns and cities. Taking part in the survey will make this clearer.
The BTO website has a series of tawny owl recordings for people to familiarise themselves with the various calls.
The classic ‘twit-twoo’ call is actually two birds. The ‘twit’ is the female and the ‘twoo’ is the male answering her.
To find out more and to take part, visit www.bto.org/owls