Sunday, 31 May 2015

Barn Owl nests

Barn Owl (female) found with 3 eggs
Last week's checking took the number of active barn owl nests in our boxes to seven, only two of which contained hatched chicks.

Some of the clutches were not yet complete, and one other box contained a pair that had not yet started egg laying.

Several of the nests are in boxes being used for the first time by birds that only hatched last year. Perhaps these nests partly explain the later nesting season this year.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Tawny Owl chick ringed

Last Thursday we returned to ring the tawny owl brood found earlier in the month.

Unfortunately, as is often the case when food is short, only one of the two chicks has survived this far.

The growth over the three weeks since we last saw this chick at just a few days old is remarkable - as seen in these two photos.

Within another week or so this chick will be ready to leave the nest. 

Tawny Owl chick at three weeks old
Tawny Owl chicks just a few days old

Monday, 18 May 2015

Homefield Wood Tawny Owl boxes

We were out today installing two tawny owl boxes at Homefield Wood near Marlow.

Although it is too late for the boxes to be used this year, we have high hopes for next year as tawny owls are often heard calling here, even during the daytime.

Thanks go to Steve Carter and Jo Mason of the Chilterns Forestry Commission for arranging the necessary permissions.

Tawny Owl box MC24
Tawny Owl box MC23

BBOWT Barn Owl

Barn Owl (female)

Last weekend this female barn owl was found to be
incubating a clutch of 5 eggs in a box on a BBOWT reserve.

Barn owls are capable of breeding in their first year after hatching, which is the case with this female who has nested in a box that hasn't been used before. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Tawny Owls in 2015

Checking our tawny owl boxes has so far revealed just one active nest with a female brooding two young chicks, and one failed nest where a single egg had been predated.

None of the four boxes used successfully last year has been re-used this year, with one of them being taken over by nesting jackdaws.

Adult female Tawny Owl
Pair of Tawny Owl chicks, with eyes not yet open