Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Barn Owl Part 2.

I was privileged to get some local Barn Owl records from 2013 to follow on from the national records in my post The Barn Owl on 30 December, which puts us in the picture on the status of the Barn Owl in 2013 in a local context.

Barn Owl. Geoff Gradwell.

Out of 74 boxes checked 18 were occupied by two birds on at least two occasions, in 8 boxes only 1 bird was seen on at least 2 occasions, some boxes were visited on 5+occasions, in total 6 pairs laid eggs, 3 pair deserted their eggs before hatching but still occupied the box, a pair hatched 2 young but the young disappeared before they were 30 days old, and 2 pairs reared 5 young.

The birds being in poor condition at the start of the breeding season in 2013 are regarded by these observations as the major factor, a sure sign that the numerous birds seen hunting during the day in last year's winter told its own story. However there is optimism for 2014, as boxes checked have resulted in 40 Barn Owls having been found roosting in them. Furthermore the owners of the property on where they are, have expressed their concern that they have not seen them, which is a good sign that they are finding enough prey during the night time.

Kestrel Warren Baker

It has also been recorded and noted with interest that Kestrels had a poor breeding season in 2013, and most that had fledged had been fed with birds and not their more usual prey of small mammals. 

Little Owl Richard Pegler

On the plus side, some excellent news is that of 14 pairs of Little Owls that bred in 2013 had averaged 1.2 young per pair....

 Tree Sparrow Arkive 

....and at least 1,002 Tree sparrows had fledged in the breeding season of 2013.

Thanks to Bob Danson. 

I'm grateful for these records kindly supplied along with permission for me to post them on Birds2blog. Also thanks to Geoff/Warren/Richard/Mike Wilkes for four excellent images to accompany this interesting set of local records for 2013.


Adam said...

awesome shot of the barn owl

Warren Baker said...

Be happy with any of these birds on my patch Pete, well obviously kestrel,and Little Owl are here, but never had Tree sparrow and only two years out of 14 have I recorded Barn owl :-)

Richard Pegler said...

I suspect that most of the owls are coping well with this wet and windy but mild weather, Pete, as threr are frequent periods of reasonable weather between times. I'm hoping that 2014 might be a much better breeding year for them and, so far, the signs are good in these parts anyway. I suspect that the Somerset populations might be suffering again, however!

Pete Woodruff said...

Adam....Thanks once again for comments.

Warren....Interesting notes you made about the lack of TS and BO in your patch.

Richard....I knew you would have a special interest in this post, and that you will have taken note of the 14 pairs of breeding Little Owl in the area mentioned. Hope you have a successful Little Owl year yourself in 2014.

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. That's encouraging news re the barn owls !! Not seen one for some time I will keep my eyes peeled. Let's hope for some improvement in the weather. We all ( Us and the birds ) deserve some much awaited warmer and settled weather. Take care.

Gordon said...

Some good shot in your post, and from reading your text, there seems to be signs fo optimism.
All the best Gordon.

Pete Woodruff said...

Brian....Not out of the woods yet re the terrible weather. Thanks for looking in and comments.

Gordon....Good to see you had a look on Birds2blog and Thank You. Hopeful optimism....yes.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi Peter .. My favorite birds. Barn owl Little Owl .. .. I'm glad you like my Buzzard.. Cheers!!!..

Pete Woodruff said...

Ana....I don't just like your Buzzard....I love it, it's brilliant, and thank you for allowing it to appear on Birds2blog.