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

Monday, 6 June 2016

Tawny Owl season 2016

With the Tawny Owl breeeding season coming to an end for this year, we have found five Tawny Owl nests in our boxes. This is the highest number of any of our three years so far.

Two of these nests contained chicks old enough to be ringed, but the others had failed at either the egg or chick stage.

Hopefully next year will be a more productive year for them.

Tawny Owl - adult
Tawny Owl chick

As usual we also found several pairs of Jackdaws and Stock Doves nesting in the boxes, as well as the  inevitable squirrels.

Stock Dove