Sunday, 17 March 2013

Box Repair with a nice surprise.

Yesterday I received a call from a local farmer in Stretton to say that one of our owl boxes had been knocked down by a tractor during recent hedge-trimming work. It didn't take long to repair the box and re-erect it out of harm's way. As the box contained lots of pellet debris, which indicated that owls had been using it quite recently, I decided to check in the adjacent box to see what was going on.

A pair of owls were roosting snugly inside. This previously unringed, first-year female was in superb condition and is ready to breed.

The male bird had been ringed by me when he was a chick at Acton Bridge in 2011 and, as you can see, he has changed quite a lot during that time.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Nearly through his first Winter

I received news today that this young owl had been discovered dead at Preston on the Hill at the beginning of February. The young male bird had been ringed by me last May only a few miles away in nearby Daresbury. Sadly, he had nearly made it through his first winter and would have been ready to join the breeding population this year.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Home + Habitat = Barn Owls.

We went out this morning to replace two old, decaying pole boxes with  new, weather-tight ones in time for this year's breeding season. Even though it was wet there were voles running around our feet in the rough grassland that surrounds the boxes and it came as no surprise to find a pair of Barn Owls in residence.