Woodland Path Owls

Owls are supreme hunters of the night and low-light hours.  Using their exceptional hearing and noiseless flight it is a lucky mouse or vole that can escape their talons.

The links below go to external sites such as RSPB and Scottish Wildlife Trust give more detail information for those who want more detail, including call sounds.

Around Carrbridge there are 4 species of owl that occur: Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, Long-eared Owl and Short-eared Owl.  Of these the species most often seen and certainly heard is the Tawny Owl, the wise owl of ancient mythology and Nursery Rhyme.

Tawny Owls  Strix aluco are very vocal serenading the night with the familiar “To-whoo”.  Females give the “To-whit” or “Ee-wick” call.

Barn Owls Tyto alba are ghostly, pale hunters of open pasture and nest in old buildings, barns and readily take to nest boxes.  Their screeching call can be quite unsettling.

The long ears of the Long-eared Owl Asio otus are not actually ears at all, but instead feathers that are used in display.  This owl has stunning orange eyes.

The Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus is a bird of open moorland and is a day-flying owl.  With long, pale wings and bright yellow eyes it searches for Short-tailed Field Voles among the heather.

All owls have asymmetrical ear openings and a facial disc of feathers that help the owl hear tiny sounds almost in 3D.  The feathers on the wings are “combed”, this breaks up the airflow keeping their flight silent.

Thank you to the local Cairngorm National Park Ranger for the above information

Polite request

Please be aware of the uneven terrain in woodland areas and wear appropriate footwear.

Please take care when crossing roads.

If walking dogs please ensure you pick up and deposit in the Dog poo bins