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"Ku-witt!" It echoes through forests and glades at night - an unmistakable sign that the tawny owl has awakened and is hunting. The brownish-white feathered owl then looks for mice, moles and young rabbits, which they grab in a silent flight from the ground and devoured with skin and hair. But the calls of the Tawny Owl and especially of many other owl species are less and less common. Because old trees are felled, also breeding caves are lost for the animals. And the decline of other species that are prey of nocturnal birds also causes many species of owls to shrink. For this reason, the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU) has awarded the Tawny Owl: "Representing all the species of owls, we have selected the Tawny Owl as the annual bird in 2017. With him, we want to promote the preservation of old trees with caves in the forest or in parks and sensitize a broad public for the needs of cave-dwelling animals, "says NABU Bureau member Heinz Kowalski. In this country the Tawny owl is well represented - according to the Atlas of German breeding bird species live 43, 000 to 75, 000 breeding pairs in Germany. Worldwide there are about one million breeding pairs.

As the Tawny Owl looks, calls, hunts, breeds and lives, read on the website of NABU . Incidentally, it also explains why, although a owl is an owl, not every owl is a scumbag.

Photo: NABU / Peter Kühn

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