Category: Birds of Prey

Location: Foot Safari

About Owls

There are five different species of owl living in the UK. The most common owl is the Tawny Owl but the UK is also home to the Barn Owl, Short-eared Owl, Long-eared Owl and the Little Owl. At Knowsley Safari, owls are part of our bird of prey displays on the Foot Safari. Educational talks and flight demonstrations to teach people about the importance of these birds in the environment.

The current owl population in the UK is thought to be around 65,000 breeding pairs, but this can fluctuate from season to season. There are about 50,000 Tawny Owl breeding pairs and they can be found throughout the UK, typically in woodland areas. However, owls aren’t limited to the UK and can be found all over the world, except Antarctica.

Most owls roost alone after a long night of hunting and may stay closer to their nest during the breeding season. They mate for life and males try to impress females by hunting more to get extra food for their mate. Owls rarely use the same nest year after year and when an owlet is born, they usually learn to fly at around 50-55 days old.

Name: Owl

Location: Owls are found all over the world except from Antarctica

Population: 5 species in the UK.

Status: The Barn Owl and Long Eared Owl are classified as green. Short Eared Owls and Tawny Owls are amber. The Little Owl is an introduced species. 

Threats: Habitat loss, human disturbance, climate change

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Fun facts about Owls

Although owls are thought to be wise and all-knowing, their brains are actually really small in comparison to the rest of their body. Whether you are preparing for your visit to the safari or just want to know a bit more about these mysterious night time predators, we have some fun owl facts. Learn more about the owls when you visit them on the Foot Safari.

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    There are over 225 species of owl around the world
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    Owls are nocturnal. They sleep during the day and are active at night
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    When owls fly, their feathers make them almost silent
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    Owls can turn their head almost all the way around
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    They have a gestation period of 30-31 days

Owl facts - Your questions answered!


Owls are carnivores, birds of prey, so they only eat other animals. Specifically, they hunt for voles, mice, shrews, small birds and invertebrates like large beetles and worms.

Despite looking like they have stumpy legs, nestled beneath all of their feathers are two pretty long legs. This, paired with their large feet and talons, help them to catch prey whilst in flight.

Owls live in a roost. This is their nesting place which they do not share unless it is breeding season, when they may roost near another nest. Some species may roost with owls from the same species. Owls can live in forests, deserts, mountains and plains.

Baby owls are called owlets or nestlings, unlike most baby birds which are called chicks.

Although owls tend to be isolated creatures, when they appear in a group they are often referred to as a parliament. This is because they are thought to be wise.

Larger species of owl tend to live for longer than the smaller species. In the wild, they generally live to around 10 years old but they can live for as long as 28 years in captivity.

You’re probably familiar with the phrase ‘twit-twoo’, however, you might be surprised to know that owls don’t hoot. Instead, they shriek, hiss and snore.

Meet our Owls

Where to see the owls at Knowsley Safari

See our owls at the Birds of Prey area on the Foot Safari.

Want to get even closer to the owls?

Step behind the scenes for our birds of prey encounter to learn more about the animals and have the chance to feed them.

Attractions and experiences

Meet us right at the Birds of Prey area for displays.

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