The Big Hoot

The Big Hoot is a public art project and charity initiative being held in Birmingham in the summer of 2015. The large-scale art event will see around 100 individually designed giant owls place at locations around Birmingham, creating a trail which will encourage residents and visitors alike to discover new parts of the city as they visit as many owl locations as possible. After ten weeks of the owls being on display, they will be auctioned off to raise find for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

big hoot banner

The University of Birmingham is sponsoring two owls as part of the Big Hoot this summer. Birmingham Children’s Hospital are one of our strategic partners within Birmingham Health Partners and the University of Birmingham is delighted that the Big Hoot will support the hospital, and in turn, the children of the region by raising an estimated half a million pounds from the auction of the owls. The owls arrived with us ahead of the launch date on 20 July. Read on to find out more about our owls.

HootankhamunHootankhamoonDale EvansFront

Hootankhamun, an Egyptian-themed owl has been selected to link in with the Egyptian collections we have at the University.

This owl will be used as a way of furthering knowledge about our collections, research and how these collections are used by academic staff to advance their research. Hootankhamun will nest on University Square.

He has his own Twitter handle - @hootankhamun





The Bone RangerBone RangerAnne GuestFront

The Bone Ranger depicts the circle of life, and utilises a glow-in-the-dark element.

This owl will be used to demonstrate how what we eat affects our bodies, and how advances in imaging have revolutionised healthcare and our understanding of how bodies work. 

The Bone Ranger will be nesting near to West Gate, adjacent to the Faraday Statue. He also has a Twitter handle - @bone_ranger




You can see an aerial view of our owls above, thanks to Professor Bob Stone and his team.


IMG0471Our owls’ designs have been chosen by the Research and Cultural Collections team. The Big Hoot owls are the latest in a long tradition of art and cultural artefacts being exhibited and owned by the University.

Our Research and Cultural collections comprise thousands of items and many of these are on display for all to enjoy, including works of art and sculptures across our campus.

There are various trails that you can follow to guide you around the campus. The University is also home to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, a world renowned Old Master and Impressionist gallery.





The University will be running a series of events throughout the summer to celebrate our owls arrival. At Winterbourne Botanic gardens, an owl-themed family fun day will take place on  Sunday 23 August, whilst the University's annual Community Day on Sunday 6 September will give local families the chnace to explore the University and its research while visiting the owls.

Owl-themed Fun Day 

The family fun day will take place on Sunday 23 August with owl displays, storytelling and art activities. Normal admission prices apply which means you'll get to take part in the fun day and also have access to the whole of Winterbourne House & Gardens, a rare surviving example of an early 20th century suburban villa designed in the style of the Arts & Crafts movement.


Trail maps covering the whole Big Hoot trail are available to pick up in the reception of the Aston Webb Building.