Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Barn Owl chicks

Earlier in the year I was talking to another member of the Sorby Breck Ringing Group at an event, when he told me about a nestbox on one of his sites that holds breeding Barn Owls. He promised to get in touch if they were successful again this year, so I was very pleased to receive a text over the weekend telling me there were four chicks ready to ring! Obviously, Barn Owls are a highly protected, Schedule 1 breeding bird, which means that you need a special licence from the BTO to ring them- something our group has.

Anyway, on Sunday, I set out to a secret site to ring my very first Barn Owl. There were four chicks in the box, and I got to ring 1.

Barn Owl chicks
After ringing, we put the chicks back in the box, and noted 4 dead mice/voles, which is a good sign that food is in good supply. We also saw an adult bird flying around the area hunting.
Whilst on site, we also took the chance to check another box, which had had 2 Stock Dove eggs in it earlier in the year. When we got there we found 2 well grown chicks, and again I got to ring 1.
Stock Doves
Both these species are "ringing ticks" for me, which is always nice. The Barn Owl was also a "year tick", which along with a Dipper a few weeks ago means I'm now on 150 species for the year.
Year List update:
149 - Dipper
150 - Barn Owl

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