Medium sized nocturnal raptor bird (about 38 cm or 15 in) with a very cryptic plumage, varying from rufous to grey with a design that combines stipplings and bars. Balloon-shaped head and lacking crests (owl ears) with huge black eyes and white eyebrows. Wide, short wings with light white lower bars (wingspan approx 95 cm or 3 ft).
It is a woodland bird but able to adapt to different environments. Present in both deciduous and coniferous forests, in riparian woods, tree crops, small forests, islands, in grass cultivations and is also common in urban parks.
Species resident in Malaga all year round. Early breeding, it makes a first laying in February of 3 to 5 eggs and builds the nest especially in tree holes. Generalist and undemanding in terms of food. It captures from micromammals to small birds, amphibians and insects.
The Tawny Owl is the most abundant and frequent night raptor in Malaga. It is present practically in almost all the Great Path.
It is one of the few birds that do not seem to be affected by changes in the natural environment that do harm other species, probably because of its ability to adapt to changes. It is easier to hear (very characteristic call and song) than to see.