Do Owls Twit Twoo?


The “twit twoo” sound is associated with the Tawny Owl, but not all Tawny Owls produce this sound, and other owl species have different calls and vocalizations.

  • Tawny Owl: The “twit twoo” sound is a duet produced by the male’s territorial call (“twoo”) and the female’s sharp response (“kee-wick”) . However, some sources state that Tawny Owls never call “twit twoo” and that the “twit” is actually a contact call of both sexes, while the “twoo” is a territorial call of the male.
  • Other Owl Species: Other owl species have different calls and vocalizations, and not all of them produce a “twit twoo” sound.

    For example, the Barn Owl produces a screeching sound, while the Little Owl makes a “keewick” or “kiew” sound.

What Is The Significance Of The “Twit Twoo” Sound Associated With Owls?

The “twit twoo” sound is associated with tawny owls, which are known for being extremely vocal.

The sound is actually a duet between the male and female owl, with the male making the “twoo” call and the female responding with a sharp “kee-wick”.

Together, this produces the classic “twit twoo” sound.

The significance of this sound is that it is a characteristic of the tawny owl species, and is used by scientists to study the birds and their behavior.

Members of the public have been asked to listen for the “twit twoo” sound as part of a study looking into the decline of tawny owls.

While the sound is unique to tawny owls, other owl species have their own distinctive calls and vocalizations.

Are All Species Of Owls Capable Of Making The “Twit Twoo” Sound, Or Is It Specific To Certain Types Of Owls?

The “twit twoo” sound is a classic sound associated with Tawny Owls.

Male Tawny Owls usually make the hooting or “twoo” sound, which is a territorial call, while females respond with a sharp “kee-wick”.

Together, this duet produces the classic “twit twoo” sound.

Therefore, it seems that the “twit twoo” sound is specific to Tawny Owls and not all species of owls are capable of making this sound.
It is worth noting that the “twit” or “kee-wick” sound is a Tawny Owl’s contact call, which is different from the “twoo” sound.

How Do Owls Use Vocalizations Like “Twit Twoo” In Their Natural Behavior And Communication?

Owls, including the Tawny Owl, use vocalizations like “twit twoo” in their natural behavior and communication in the following ways:

  1. Territory Marking: Owls use vocalizations to mark their territory and establish their presence to other owls in the area.

    The classic “twit twoo” call is often associated with the Tawny Owl and is used for territorial communication.
  2. Communication with Other Owls: Owls use vocalizations to communicate with other owls, especially during the breeding season.

    They may use different calls and hooting noises to attract a mate or communicate with their partner.
  3. Contact Calls: Owls, including the Tawny Owl, use vocalizations as contact calls to communicate with their mate or owlets.

    These contact calls help maintain communication and coordination within the family unit.
  4. Defense and Aggression: When defending their nests or territory, owls can be very aggressive and may use vocalizations as a warning or threat display.

    Tawny owls, in particular, are known to cause more injuries to humans than any other bird in Europe.
    It’s important to note that the “twit twoo” call commonly associated with the Tawny Owl is actually a misinterpretation of the overlapping sounds made by male and female owls.

    The female’s usual call is “keewik,” which is used as a contact call.

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