Wednesday, 8 July 2020

A difficult Barn Owl nesting season

Due to Covid-19 we've had to carry out our Barn Owl monitoring in a "socially distanced" format. Despite this, we've managed to check 56 of the most likely boxes within our RAS area.

The results show a very poor breeding season with just seven nest attempts, four of which failed at the egg stage. No doubt owing to a lack of voles for prey.

Four chicks have been ringed at the three surviving nests.

It will be interesting to see if this picture is repeated across the region.

As last year was a bumper breeding season, this shouldn't pose a long-term risk to the local Barn Owl population.

Barn Owl from West Berkshire

A female Barn Owl found nesting in a box near Marlow had been ringed as a chick in 2016 at Englefield, West Berkshire - a distance of 28 km.

This is only the fourth Barn Owl that we have encountered so far that was ringed outside our area.