Owl Watch

They’re famed for binocular vision and sensitive hearing. Now owls need your eyes and ears! The Wild Watch urgently needs YOU to help protect our precious owls! We need your help to find out how many owls we have in Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and where they live.  You can do this by looking and listening for owls.

We are collecting data on 4 owl species:

L to R: Barn owl, Tawny owl, Little owl, Short eared owl (c) RSPB

Barn owl: 
A distinctive white, heart-shaped face and a slow, buoyant flight in a back and forth motion. You can see them all year round, during the day, but best at dusk in open country, field edges, riverbanks, roadside verges. And, Barn Owls don’t hoot! Listen to their call.

Tawny owl: 
You can hear and spot Tawny Owls all year round, primarily in areas with woodland or mature trees. Their flight is more direct, often from tree to tree. Listen to a Tawny male call and a female call.

Little owl: 
The smallest owl, which can be spotted all year round, often in daylight usually perching on a tree branch, telegraph pole or rock. Listen to a Little owl contact call

Short eared owl: 
A mottled pale brown owl with a rounded face, yellow eyes and short, often indiscernible ear tufts.  You can spot them hunting during the day, more widely in winter, by their characteristic buoyant flight in a back and forth motion. Often spotted in farmland, moorland and wetland habitats. Listen to a female Short eared owl call

How you can help

Listen for owl calls or sightings and tell us which species you have seen, where (with a grid reference using www.gridreferencefinder.com is really easy to use or your postcode) AND your email so we can confirm your sighting. Please also let us know the date and time of your sighting.

You can do this by either:

Picking up one of the owl postcards that are in local shops, pubs, doctors and post offices around the AONB and returning it Freepost
Sending us an email to info@thewildwatch.org.uk, with the species, grid reference and date/time of sighting.
Tweet your sighting to #tweettwho with the species, grid reference, date/time of sighting and email address so we can acknowledge your sighting