Owls in Sheffield

Picture of Tawny OwlFor several months now, since at least October or November, I’ve been listening to birds making very distinct sounds somewhere close to my house. To begin with it was really annoying and it kept me up at night. At first I thought it had to be a rooster, but I couldn’t figure out why there would be a rooster in the middle of a city. Then I realised it might be an owl.

Last night I was talking to a friend and she expressed some skepticism so I decided to look up owl sounds. Finally I found the owl that makes exactly the sound that I’ve been listening to for so long. It’s the Tawny Owl, which can be found all over England.

You can hear the sound here. It was quite funny to find because it was so exactly the same sound. According to the website where I found this sound file:

“…95% of the time you are going to hear just two calls from Tawny Owls — the well-known hoot, and the “kewick”. The full-volume hoot, hu ….. hu-hooooo, is made by the male, and as far as I know only by the male. It’s a unique sound, and probably involves a use of the vocal apparatus that’s not heard in any other tawny call, whether male or female.”

So there you have it. Somewhere close to Ranmoor Village in Sheffield there is a male tawny owl. There are possibly more than just the one, I don’t know I’ve never seen it/them. It’s not annoying to me anymore, now I smile when I hear it. There’s something so delightfully horror film-y about it. Also knowing that it’s an owl makes me extremely happy. There are no owls in Iceland so hearing one in the wild is completely new to me.

To be honest I’ve spent the last few months going a little crazy every now and then when I see or hear animals that are not to be found in Iceland. I’ve seen a lot of squirrels for instance and I always smile like a loony toon every time. I remember when I was 18 I saw a frog jump across a path I was walking in Denmark. I could hardly stop talking about it for hours afterward. My siblings were not quite as impressed as I was. The summer of 2009 I spent 4 weeks in Brighton and while there I saw two foxes walk across the University of Sussex campus late one evening. We do have foxes in Iceland, but I haven’t seen them very often so it was fun.

Basically when it comes to seeing all kinds of animals I might as well be 5 years old considering how excited I get. On Saturday I’m going for a walk in the Peak District, I hope I’ll get to see some fun animals while I’m there.

Picture from Wikipedia


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helga Dis
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 13:22:06

    I wish I’d hear owls here too. But correct you on one point, there are owls in Iceland. According to visindavefurinn the Short-eared owl lays eggs in Iceland but the Snow owl has been seen there (I personally thought it was the other way around).

    There are about 100-200 egg laying pairs (I dont know the correct terminology here) during the summer but over winter there are about 200-500 Short-eared owls in Iceland.

    Even though Snow owls dont generally lay eggs in Iceland, it has been known to happen.


  2. kalldoro
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 13:26:14

    Oh well, I’ve never seen them. Now that you say it I realise that I sort of knew there were owls in Iceland. But like I said, I’ve never seen or heard one. :P


  3. Helga
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 13:37:20


    They apparently live in Þingeyjarsýslu, Eyjafirði and Borgarfirði :D


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s