Tawny owls at Risley

Tawny owls don't like flying over water, so we don't generally see them flying over the mossland at Risley Moss. 

However, they do like woodlands hiding in the taller oak and ash trees of Risley Moss during the day, so you're more likely to hear them than see them. To communicate with each other, they make the characteristic tu-whittu whoo call, with the female saying tu-whit, and the male responding with tu-whoo

Tawny owls like to eat mice, voles, lizards, bats and moths, so there's plenty for them to eat at Risley Moss. 

Other owl species which are known to visit or spend time at the moss are the barn owl, long-eared owl and short-eared owl. The short-eared owls can sometimes be seen patrolling over the mossland during the day.


Sadly tawny owls have now been added to the amber conservation list, which means they're declining in numbers. The BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) has asked people to listen out for these owls and report any sightings or calls to them. 

Did you know?

  • Tawny owls don't like flying over water
  • Tawny owls can't move their eyes
  • They like to sleep in tall oaks and ash trees