This was a six year-old male bird that had bred regularly in one of our boxes. This year it had raised a first brood of 3 chicks, and its mate was incubating a second clutch when it died. The second clutch was subsequently abandoned.
Unfortunately, drowning in water troughs is not an uncommon occurrence for Barn Owls. Having got into a trough to bathe, they cannot then climb back up the steep slippery sides and become water-logged and drown.
But there is a simple and effective solution - to install a purpose-built float as shown here:
|Trough float - plastic frame|
Please go to the page Water Troughs for information on this.