Sunday, 17 November 2013

Record Breaker

After discovering a new ringed bird it is always interesting to find out where it has come from. Most Barn Owls are sedentary in nature and tend not too move too far from where they originate so it was a great surprise to learn of the movements of this particular bird.

I had found her in mid September incubating what proved to be the latest clutch of owls that I have ever ringed and was later able to learn from her ring number that she had originated from a brood of three owls that were ringed in July 2007 near Maltraeth on Anglesey. She had travelled 127 km from Anglesey to Cheshire which is the largest movement of any Barn Owl that I have personally come across. 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

It's Good to Put on Weight

Back at the beginning of April I came across this two year old male roosting in one of our boxes near to Antrobus and although he had managed to survive the ravages of the really cold Spring he was, unsurprisingly, decidedly underweight. Now in his third year, I found him again today roosting in the same nest box and although he had not managed to breed in 2013 he does seem to be well set for the Winter as his body weight has increased by almost 25% during the intervening period. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Autumn Sunshine

Today we were able to enjoy a gloriously sunny Autumn morning in Cheshire and I was able to get across to Daresbury to meet my friend Ray. Recent conversations between us had made him realise that he had not spotted any Little Owls about for some considerable time; but last weekend an individual was seen hunting from a fence-line along one of the fields. Consequently we have put up a couple of nest boxes to try and encourage them to stay and breed next season.

Nearby there were some signs of occupation in one of our Barn Owl boxes and a quick look inside revealed this recently fledged female. She is in the process of trying to find her own territory after leaving her natal site and she has chosen well as the habitat is rich with small mammals to sustain her through the Winter. Good habitat and a home makes for happy owls!

Altogether a great morning.