One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A common Eurasian owl with either reddish-brown or grey plumage and a familiar quavering hoot.
Strix aluco, family Strigidae
- ‘Riverrun's wildlife reserve is a professionally tended nature reserve, containing rare species of waterfowl and other birds such as heron, snipe, pheasant, teal, white-fronted geese, kingfisher and tawny owls.’
- ‘The 47 dead birds were seven barn owls, three kingfishers, a lapwing, a hen harrier, six long-eared owls, nine tawny owls, two kestrels, three green woodpeckers, six little owls, seven sparrowhawks, a water rail and a waxwing.’
- ‘The bird boxes will provide a haven for birds including: the rare spotted flycatchers; robins; starlings and tawny owls - and will raise the profile and appreciation of wildlife in Durham City.’
- ‘Wood peckers, herons, tawny owls and wood warblers are common in the area.’
- ‘Children were thrilled to be able to stroke a beautiful barn owl, while an enormous eagle owl, a tawny owl, a kestrel and a turkey vulture called George looked on.’
2informal (in the UK) the assistant adult leader of a pack of Brownie Guides, officially termed Assistant Brownie Guider since 1968.
- ‘Tawny Owl Nicki Paull is deaf herself and has volunteered to teach any of the brownies who are interested how to communicate using sign.’
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