Sunday, 30 December 2018

Monday, 17 September 2018

Tawny Owl call survey

The BTO are asking for help with a national Tawny Owl call survey.

It's easy to take part. All you need to do is listen for Tawny Owl calls from your garden or other green space this autumn and winter.

Full details can be found here:
BTO tawny owl call survey

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Barn Owl arrives from Hertfordshire

Barn Owl (f) GV00446

A female barn owl ringed last year as a chick near Hatfield, Hertfordshire was found breeding in one of our boxes in Berkshire, having traveled a distance of 45km.

This is only the second ringed barn owl we have encountered that has dispersed "into" our area.


Monday, 28 May 2018

Swift box camera

One of our swift boxes, put up early last year, has a nest for the second year running:

See video here:
swift video

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

first Barn Owl eggs and chicks of 2018

At one of our camera boxes, a female Barn Owl laid her first egg on 28th April, a fairly typical date, although a full five weeks later than last year.
She went on to lay a clutch of four eggs all of which hatched successfully.

At another camera box, on 8th May we found a female brooding a recently hatched chick, along with 4 eggs still to hatch.
We estimate that the first egg in this box would have been laid around 6th April.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Tawny Owl kills Barn Owl intruder

Tawny Owl(f) incubating next to dead Barn Owl
Events took a dramatic turn at this Tawny Owl box.

A Barn Owl entered the box and fought with the much larger female Tawny Owl.

In the melee the 4-day old Tawny Owl chick was killed.

After a 2 hour struggle, the Barn Owl was killed by the female Tawny Owl.

Part of the conflict can be viewed here:
Warning: younger viewers may find this footage distressing.
Tawny Owl and Barn Owl fighting

The Tawny Owl resumed incubating the remaining egg, but the egg did not hatch and the box was abandoned a few days later.

Footnote: the Barn Owl was unringed, and not one of the resident pair from the box 500m away. It was a female fledged last year, so was probably trying to evict the Tawny Owls and take over their nest site.


Friday, 16 March 2018

first Tawny Owl egg of 2018

Tawny Owl(f) with first egg

The snow and cold of early March did not delay this female Tawny Owl from egg-laying for very long, as the first egg appeared on 16th March.

Tawny Owl(f) incubating amid snow

But with more snow arriving on easterly winds on 17th March, she probably wishes she'd waited a few more days.

The clutch was completed with a second egg.
The first chick hatched 16th April.