Friday 27 October 2023

2023 Barn Owl nesting season overview

Barn Owl brood of 5 chicks

With 40 Barn Owl chicks ringed from 16 successful nests, overall productivity in 2023 was slightly above average for recent years.

Egg laying started in the second-half of April, later than in previous years, with the earlier nesting pairs struggling to raise only 1-2 chicks, and several nest attempts failing at the egg stage.

Those pairs that delayed nesting to June/July fared better with some raising broods of 4 and 5.

A further 7 pairs failed to make any nest attempt this year.

Friday 14 July 2023

Kestrels 2023

Brood of 2 kestrel chicks
For a second consecutive year Kestrels had a strong breeding year.

There were 9 nest attempts (10 in 2022), of which 8 were successful, with 19 chicks fledged from the 7 nests where chicks were ringed.

However productivity of 2.7 chicks fledged per successful nest was down from last year's 3.5.

The increasing number of boxes with Kestrel nests is further evidence of this species recovery from a low point 20-30 years ago.


Saturday 6 May 2023

Tawny Owls 2023

Tawny Owl (adult female)
A monitoring round of our Tawny Owl boxes in the Marlow area this week revealed four Tawny Owl nests with chicks.

This makes as good a result as we've had in previous years.

Tawny Owls usually start egg-laying by end-March, earlier than both Little and Barn Owls.

Update: single chicks were subsequently ringed at each nest. One of the adult females had been ringed in 2016, and is estimated now to be in its tenth calendar year.

Wednesday 3 May 2023

2023 nesting season underway

Barn Owls at one of our camera nest boxes laid their first egg on 2nd May.

This is a relatively late date, so we'd expect to find some other local pairs will have started before this.

Friday 28 October 2022

2022 Barn Owl nesting season overview

5 week old Barn Owl chick
With 33 Barn Owl chicks ringed and fledged in our study area, overall productivity in 2022 was in line with previous years average.

There were 22 nest attempts at 25 occupied boxes, 15 of which successfully fledged chicks.

It appears that the severe summer drought reduced the availability of food, leading to several brood losses.