Barn owls …

Over 15 years ago, Colin and Linda were given a Barn Owl box which has been used over the years by Stock Doves, Kestrels and Tawny Owls but never a Barn Owl.

Then in late April this year, while bat detecting, they noticed a Barn Owl flying from the box and then the following night a Barn Owl showing well next to it.

They continue to have regular sightings of the male Barn Owl hunting and returning to the nest box with food for the female which must be brooding eggs.

For more on Colin and Linda’s barn owls go to the comments on this post

12 thoughts on “Barn owls …”

  1. Much to our relief ‘our’ Barn Owls are continuing to feed the young birds despite the rain. We had a very useful talk with the young lad who farms the land where the nest box is. Thankfully he seems to be quite interested.

  2. ‘Our’ Barn Owls continue to thrive despite the recent unusual persistent rain. On Thursday 11th June one adult was out hunting at 4pm which is (to Colin) a worrying sign. Prior to this both adults have been regularly bringing prey to the juveniles. We think that the adults are now roosting away from the box and just returning in the evenings. For the first time on Tuesday 9th we viewed the nest box entrance from an adjacent field. Several large ‘chicks’ were seen, one defecating profusely from the entrance. The adults returned several times to feed them. We have now been watching for 46 days but we estimate that this is possibly the 66th day since the first egg was laid. After 97 days the eldest owlet will start to fly.

    Stop press: Both owls furiously feeding young last night (13/06/20)! At one point the farmer got too close to the nest and one owl flew away from the nest with a vole in its talons.

  3. ‘Our’ Barn Owls continue to thrive, often flying over our house with voles in their talons.

  4. ‘Our’ Barn Owls continue to feed young on a regular basis. It has been our 32nd night of observation and we understand that this could go on for another 30 days if they are successful! Don’t know if we will survive the trauma!

  5. ‘Our’ Barn Owls are leaving the nest box earlier and earlier. Thursday 21st May they returned to the nest box seven times with a rodent in 90 minutes! We are now concerned as we read that modern boxes have a raised entrance to prevent chicks falling out. Unfortunately our old box does not have this feature. We are trying not to worry!

  6. Barn Owl monitoring continues. On Wednesday 13th May the male bird came out of the nest box, dusted itself down (preened and stretched its wings) and then made nine return visits (with rodents) in 67 minutes! Friday 15th May was our 20th recording evening – and what an evening with both male and female birds hunting! The chicks must be well on their way!

  7. Here is our latest news. We have been monitoring our Barn Owl box and recording nightly activity.

    Early in the week we had a big scare! A Grey Squirrel climbed the tree and disappeared from view! We know that this ‘alien’ species is responsible for up to a 40% decline of woodland birds and so we were worried. Having researched the incidence of creatures co-habiting with Barn Owls in boxes (ie Kestrels and Stock Doves) we found that on rare occasions Grey Squirrels may set up home in a different compartment of the box.

    Any way, to cut a long story short, the owls seem to have weathered the storm. On one occasion the male brought back four voles in 20 minutes! It is obviously feeding the female and possibly chicks. It is a nerve racking business …

  8. Congratulations Colin and Linda on your great news about the Barn Owl in the box you put up so many years ago -and good to hear from Catherine about the Barn Owl actually using a barn in a farm near Darfield.

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