It has a rounded body and head, with a ring of dark feathers around its face surrounding the dark eyes. It is mainly reddish brown above and paler underneath.
It is a widespread breeding species in England, Wales and Scotland but not found in Ireland. Birds are mainly residents with established pairs probably never leaving their territories. Their characteristic courtship ‘twit-twooo’ is actually a duet between male and female.
The tawny owl is nocturnal so it is often heard calling at night, but much less often seen. In the daytime, you may see one only if you disturb it inadvertently from its roost site in woodland up against a tree trunk or among ivy.