Sunday 26 June 2016

Barn Owls - June 2016 status

Efforts over the second half of June were focused on checking our Barn Owl boxes.

So far 11 active nests have been found -  some containing chicks already old enough to be ringed, while others were still at the egg stage . This is well down on last year's level.

A further 16 occupied boxes held either single birds or pairs which have not yet started to breed. Some of these birds have already started their annual moult - an indication that they will not now breed this year.

The adult retraps provide valuable survival data for our RAS study (Retrapping Adults for Survival).

It looks like the combination of low vole numbers and persistent rainy weather has prevented many pairs from breeding.

Hopefully the weather in July will improve allowing the adults to provide enough food for their young and perhaps triggering some of the remaining pairs to breed.

In addition three broods of Kestrel, one of Little Owl, and two of Tawny Owl, have been ringed this year.
Kestrel chick

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