The Big Hoot Trail

The Big Hoot captured the imagination of everyone in Birmingham and beyond this summer, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets with their Big Hoot Trail maps to explore the colourful invasion of 89 individually designed owls and 122 owlets. Taking in the city’s 10 districts, from the city centre to Sutton Coldfield, Winson Green to Bournville and many places in between, tourists and residents alike enjoyed their owl adventure, discovering and celebrating the extraordinary creativity produced by many of Birmingham’s artistic community and over 25,000 young people.

Birmingham welcomed cartoon owls, night owls, wise owls, celebrity owls, jewellery owls, the ‘Owl and the Pussycat’, owls from the pyramids of Egypt, Amazonian Rainforests and outer space, along with owls that celebrate Birmingham’s landmark architecture, history, people, places, cultural diversity and more…

Download The Big Hoot Trail Map (pdf)

Download The Little Hoot Trail Map (pdf)


The Big Hoot App

The Big Hoot app helped thousands of people navigate the trail.

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Take a Look at The Big Hoot Owls…

The Oozells Owl

The Oozells Owl references Brindleyplace and its environs – IKON, the canals, tree-lined squares and international cuisine that make it... Read More

A Word to the Wise

This owl is inspired by the poem ‘A Wise Old Owl Sat in an Oak’ (anonymous, Punch, 1875). The design... Read More

Active Owl

The design is inspired by abstract natural forms as well as the work of the artist Stanley Donwood. The design... Read More

Ahoy Matey

Ahoy Matey is a swashbuckling pirate, inspired by the Golden Age of piracy and some of the infa-mous pirates of... Read More

Alf the Penguin Owl

Alf is the leader of the Gentoo colony at The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham. The staff of the Centre... Read More

Bejewelled Owl

Inspired by the natural patterns that occur in wildlife, Bejewelled Owl celebrates the owl’s majesty and beauty, through pattern and... Read More


Beorma (7th century Anglo-Saxon name for the settlement now known as Birmingham) celebrates the city’s varied, vibrant cultures – highlighted... Read More

Big Brown Inky Owl

Inspired by what can be found deep within nature’s critter-filled woodlands, this owl features a woodland scene, reminiscent of classical... Read More


Guy’s inspiration for his owl comes from patterns and abstract shapes that inform much of his illustrative work. The name... Read More


Bluey is inspired by the diversity of Birmingham’s culture, uses a ‘string palette’ technique. Blue and white patterns feature in... Read More

Bob the Bat

Bob is a giant bat, with a cheeky smile, funny little fangs and a furry face. He likes to flap... Read More


Buttons appears of be made of milk chocolate and emerges, deliciously resplendent, from Cadbury’s famous, purple, foil wrapping. While the... Read More


Clash is a mix of patterns, textures and colours found on lots of dazzling looking birds and animals from around... Read More

Delivered by Owl

Many things have been invented in Birmingham, including the postal service and the postage stamp. This owl features celebratory stamps... Read More


Dotty is covered from head to toe in dots, reminiscent of the patterns used in Aboriginal art and featuring a... Read More

Dr Whoot

Stephen created Dr Whoot because for him, Birmingham will be linked forever to the classic TV series, Doctor Who. In... Read More


The front of the design represents what young people involved in the project like about Richmond, Bierton Road and wider... Read More

Fleet and Free

This owl is full of get-up and go! It features patriotic union jacks and several heroes, past and present, from... Read More

Florence Nightin’owl

Florence Nightin’owl is our tribute to history’s most famous nurse and to all the nurses, past and present, who have... Read More


Free Radio is very proud to be in cahoots with The Big Hoot 2015. FreeRadiOwl is a special Owl. Press... Read More


Temper, aka Arron Bird, is widely recognised as one of the most successful and talented graffiti artists of his generation.... Read More

Happy Birthday FEED!

Created by students from Birmingham Metropolitan College, Happy Birthday FEED!’s daytime appearance features de-collage and illustration. By night, the owl... Read More

Hedwig Owl

This owl comes in two guises: the front is a caricature of Harry Potter (complete with Hogwart school uniform) and... Read More


Birds – including owls – feature on many Egyptian artefacts and Hootankhamoon is a very decorative Egyptian-style owl, who has... Read More

I See A Darkness

When Ben thinks of owls, his first thought is the night; mainly due to their nocturnal nature but also because... Read More


Bold and instantly recognisable, Jack the patriotic owl sports the union flag – red, white and ‘twit-two-blue’! Artist: Martin Band... Read More

Jewellery Owl

This opulent owl is inspired by the city’s famous Jewellery Quarter, and references its rich history. Designed to appear as... Read More


For Leo, Ruth decided to play around with the owl shape in her design – to ‘morph’ it into another... Read More

Love Owl

Love Owl is inspired by the diverse communities that live side-by-side in Birmingham. Love con-nects us all and this affectionate... Read More

Midnight Hoot

This owl features a striking, silhouetted owl sitting on a tree branch in front of the shimmering moon – painted... Read More

Midnight Moths

This owl is inspired by the night sky – the owl’s nocturnal habitat – and the moths, featured on the... Read More

Mr Architect

Mr Architect shows how much the artist admires Birmingham’s eclectic mix of old and new buildings and contrasting architectural patterns,... Read More

Nature’s Growth

Nature’s Growth focuses on the notion that access to nature makes for happier and healthier communities. Last year, Birmingham was... Read More

New Street Flyer

New Street Flyer has been commissioned on behalf of Network Rail to celebrate the exciting launch of the brand-new, iconic... Read More

Night Owl

Inspired by nature and organic forms, Night Owl features a wonderful woodland scene under a twi-light sky, with snow-capped peaks... Read More


Lloyds Bank Competition winner, Miah Gill, was inspired by a song Nightingale by American recording artist, Demi Lovato. The essence... Read More


Over 75 members of the community participated in workshops with the artist at Soho House Museum and Octavius’ workspace. The... Read More


Following a series of activities for the local community at The POD, the local Craft and Chatter group designed a... Read More

One Giant Hoot for Owlkind

One Giant Hoot for Owlkind celebrates the wonder of looking up at the stars and the planets and imagining the... Read More

Our Happy Hospit-owl

Our Happy Hospit-owl is inspired by our wonderful children and the army of brilliant fundraisers who help to make Birmingham... Read More

Owl Aboard!

Milan has created a whimsical world in the trees above Birmingham, where owls flock to catch the train. Owl Aboard... Read More

Owl by Night

Owl by Night comes alive after dark! Covered in mirrored mosaic and with solar-powered LEDs in the base, this giant... Read More

Owl of Athena

In Greek mythology, Owl of Athena was the ‘Little Owl’ who accompanied Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and is depicted... Read More


A smart and stunning black and white owl, referencing the chef’s traditional outfit, paying homage to the world famous chef... Read More


Owlbert celebrates University College Birmingham as one of Europe’s leading specialists in vocational degree courses. The design features the tools,... Read More


Decorated with portraits of Birmingham people and photographs from the Birmingham Post and Mail archives, Owlfred is an interactive. Behind... Read More

Ozzy’s Owl

“Ozzy’s Owl is a combination of Ozzy, his hometown and late night gigs, and we both think it’s all come... Read More

Papa Winson

Inspired by the thoughts and ideas captured from the residents who attended a series of workshops, this owl depicts the... Read More


The Peacock owl was created by Birmingham based artist and illustrator Jane Anderson (Current State). The beautiful, elaborate, luxurious and... Read More

Percy Pertemps

Percy Pertemps is a cheery tribute to Birmingham’s diverse and dedicated workforce and to the West Midlands recruitment company, formed... Read More

Perry Chocobow Swanet

The design is a narrative like a stained glass window. There are flowers showing the new generation, representing the Velvet... Read More


The owl was created by Fozia Malik and the OCCIC women’s empowerment group in Bordesley Green. The inspiration came from... Read More


This year is the 250th anniversary of Lloyds Bank, which was founded in Birmingham and as part of the anniversary... Read More


Rainforest features an owl hiding in a very different type of landscape. The owl is discovered far from its natural... Read More


Temper, aka Arron Bird, is widely recognised as one of the most successful and talented graffiti artists of his generation.... Read More

Saltley Stories

This owl is inspired by The Saltley Stories archive, produced by Norton Hall in Saltley and from artist Grayson Perry... Read More


Selfie features the iconic Selfridges store and the metal discs match the roundels on the Selfridges façade. The head and... Read More


Serenity is a beautiful and contemporary depiction of an oak tree and birds flying heavenwards. The owl has been created... Read More


Participants from St Thomas’ Community Project at St Thomas’ Church in Garrets Green, including youth groups and Focus Birmingham with... Read More


Skyclad features a photorealistic image of an eagle owl and also incorporates the layers and tex-tures that can be found... Read More

Skyline 2015

Skyline 2015 is inspired by Birmingham city itself – as a multicultural and diverse place. The traditional landscape format with... Read More

Spotting and Jotting in Birmingham

Matt finds owls “absolutely bonkers” and a great inspiration for creativity. He connects his love of street art and graffiti... Read More


This Owl was designed by the artist working with Birmingham’s Children in Care. Can you adopt or foster them? Tel:... Read More

Stop – rewind and come again!

Stop – rewind and come again! references the fact that The Big Hoot project will culminate in a public art... Read More

Swirly Whirly Birmingham Owl-land

Inspired by Birmingham’s architecture, parks and people, this owl includes well-known buildings as well as sculptures, canals, squares and parks... Read More

Tea T-Owl

Tea T-owl is a very British owl, featuring traditional tea-time treats and a chequered tea towel background. The owl’s big,... Read More

Tessellated Triangles

Tessellated Triangles is inspired by the geometric shape, the triangle but is also jewel-like and reminiscent of the gems found... Read More

The Big Hoot

A contemporary, colourful and bold abstract design realised by artist Glenn Anderson and featuring geometric computer like graphics in an... Read More

The Birchfield Sable

Black Voices created a clear formula for multiple art forms – spoken word, a cappella, film, photography, illustration, design and... Read More

The Birmingham Children’s Hospital Owl

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Owl is inspired by the artist’s visits to the Children’s Hospital as a child. The iconic, distinctive,... Read More

The Bone Ranger

The thought-provoking Bone Ranger, with its arresting, black background and luminescent white bones encourages you to bone-up on Birmingham’s history... Read More

The Graduate

The Graduate is inspired by future generations, who are the hope of our nation. The de-sign also symbolises how our... Read More

The Green Owl

The Green Owl a tribute to the green spaces which help make Birmingham the beautiful, vibrant place it is today.... Read More

The Handsworth Park Owl and the Pussycat

The design for this owl was developed following a series of drawing workshops with children in Handsworth Park and it... Read More

The Owl and the Pussycat

Inspired by Edward Lear’s much loved nonsense-poem, the owl lends itself perfectly to depicting the charmingly strange union of the... Read More

The Owl and the Pussycat Went to Sea

The owl sculpture is the perfect canvas on which to illustrate the full story of the Owl and the Pussycat... Read More

The Ship

For his owl sculpture, Neil thought of Edward Lear’s nonsense poem, ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’.  His 7 year-old... Read More

The Sutton Coldfield Owl

The Sutton Coldfield Owl is inspired by the beauty of the artist’s town. Artist: Scarlett Byfield Sponsor: Birmingham Metropolitan College... Read More

Through New Eyes

Through New Eyes is a striking, contemporary design based upon what could perhaps be an owl’s view of the intriguing,... Read More


Inspired by the marvels of the mechanical age and the industries of the historically signifi-cant Jewellery Quarter, this ‘steampunk’ style... Read More


Tropicowl features animal portraits from Twycross Zoo in a beautifully decorated and painted habi-tat. The imagery marks the zoos award-winning... Read More

Twit Choo-Choo

Twit Choo-Choo is the winning design from  the CrossCounty design an owl competition.  Winner Joseph Hewston’s design is based on Birmingham... Read More

Under the Glow of Moonlight

Under the Glow of Moonlight focuses on the owl’s striking eyes. In this case, they serve as a looking glass... Read More

Unity within Diversity

Unity within Diversity is inspired by the artist’s native homeland, Pakistan and an artform known as ‘Pakistani Truck art’. Take... Read More

Welcome to Birmingham

Welcome to Birmingham is inspired by the idea of the changing infrastructure and landscape of the city. It references Birmingham’s... Read More

Wise Old Owl

Wise Old Owl is inspired by Birmingham’s famous buildings, including the new Library of Birmingham – a place of wisdom,... Read More

Wise Owl

Wise Owl is inspired by British artist, Anish Kapoor’s ‘Cloud Gate’ in Chicago. The owl conveys the culture and atmosphere... Read More


Yellow is an owl that perches high on one of the towers of the Custard Factory. The Custard Factory is... Read More

You Can Call Me Owl

You Can Call Me Owl, is inspired by Birmingham’s significant contribution to the development of the once familiar telephone box.... Read More