Barn Owls

NigelM

Well-Known Member
On my way home this afternoon I got a call from my daughter saying that one of the Barn Owl chicks had fallen out of the next box and was sitting by the field shelter where it's located. Got back and went to have a look and sure enough, there it was. Called the Barn Owl Trust to get a spot of advise and was told to catch it up and put it back in the box.

Catching it was the easy bit. Not flying yet I took a tea towel with me and threw it over as it started to run. Picked it up, took it up the ladder and went to put it back in the box. It went it, and as I climbed down again a larger one jumped out, gliding about 50 yards and then sat in the field looking at me.

I decided it was best to leave it and walked away. Just checked again and there's no sign of it anywhere, so hopefully it has managed to fly back up to the box again. Fingers crossed.
 

DJB266

Well-Known Member
You will probably see quite a bit of this as they start to test their wings! Doesn’t normally take long for them to work it out though! Lucky to have them nest so close and getting to see them up close!
 

NigelM

Well-Known Member
I know I'm very lucky. I put the box up in an old field shelter when we moved here 11 years ago. The first few years we had no joy but they have successfully bought off a brood most years since.

I have a high seat I use for the foxes about 50 yards away and have watched them many a night as they go about their business. One night a few years back one even landed on the shooting rail as I was sat there - took him about 30 seconds to work out it was already occupied!

One of the most graceful birds we have in my opinion.
 

jimbo1984

Well-Known Member
Similar situation close to me with them testing thier wings , a pleasure to watch , just hoping Charlie doesn't find them while they're vulnerable on the ground
 

DJB266

Well-Known Member
I know I'm very lucky. I put the box up in an old field shelter when we moved here 11 years ago. The first few years we had no joy but they have successfully bought off a brood most years since.

I have a high seat I use for the foxes about 50 yards away and have watched them many a night as they go about their business. One night a few years back one even landed on the shooting rail as I was sat there - took him about 30 seconds to work out it was already occupied!

One of the most graceful birds we have in my opinion.

I have a soft spot for all BOP, but owls especially! There’s just something about them! I don’t get many around me as I’m fairly urban but when out of an evening on the foxes/rabbits I quite often sit with the NV watching the owls float round instead of looking for Charlie . I’ve also found rabbit/mouse distress on the digital caller has them circling and swooping looking for an easy meal giving great chances to watch them!
 

NigelM

Well-Known Member
Many years back I was foxing out of the top of a Defender. Saw a set of eyes and stopped the driver, tuned on the NV and decided it was a bit too far out so tried to squeak it in. After a couple of minutes squeaking on the back of my hand a Tawney owl came in and took my hat with it. Not sure which of us was the most surprised!
 

DJB266

Well-Known Member
Many years back I was foxing out of the top of a Defender. Saw a set of eyes and stopped the driver, tuned on the NV and decided it was a bit too far out so tried to squeak it in. After a couple of minutes squeaking on the back of my hand a Tawney owl came in and took my hat with it. Not sure which of us was the most surprised!

:rofl: Fantastic! Bet that was a real pucker up moment hahaha. Imagine the owls disappointment thinking he’s getting this nice bunny for dinner and realising he’d nicked your best fedora!
 

tarponhead

Well-Known Member
Did you get your hat back?

Saw a very small but perfectly formed Owl yesterday - small and brown so not a barn owl. I sat next to a Tawny Owl earlier this year - bigger than a barn owl so not one of those, unless young. Little owl, possibly?

Great idea to put a box up - did you build it specifically sized for owls?
 

Swedish

Well-Known Member
The owls around here suffered a great decline last year which at first was attributed to a reduction in numbers of their prey. However after closer examination of environmental conditions, in particular the excessive rain that we'd had, it turned out they they were simply too wet to woo.

















I'll get my coat...
 

User00025

Well-Known Member
Not a good year for Barn Owls this year, numbers here down by 50%. The rain early on precluded them from hunting and this dry weather has reduced the vole population. One poster worried about Charlie nailing them on the ground, more likely to be Buzzard and occasionally Tawny. On a local estate 6 young Barnies predated two years ago by a pair of Buzzards, actually saw one killed myself. Years ago whilst working on the Cotswolds we had a rogue Tawny killing Barnies.
 

NigelM

Well-Known Member
Did you get your hat back?

Saw a very small but perfectly formed Owl yesterday - small and brown so not a barn owl. I sat next to a Tawny Owl earlier this year - bigger than a barn owl so not one of those, unless young. Little owl, possibly?

Great idea to put a box up - did you build it specifically sized for owls?

Built mine from a set of plans I found somewhere 10 years ago. It's a bit out of date now, as the nest box is at the same height as the platform. Modern wisdom is that the base of the nest box should be 18" below the platform as this makes it impossible for the chicks to wander out and fall off the edge, I have attached the page from the Barn Owl Trust below.

Barn Owl nestboxes: Free owl nest box plans
 

NigelM

Well-Known Member
Barn owl check this morning and no sign of any chicks out of the nest and no piles of feathers in the vicinity, so hopefully all is good.
 

Rasputin

Well-Known Member
Quite a few where I am just outside Blackpool. Beautiful birds. However buzzards and bloody rooks we have thousands and I mean thousands of them. With all the new builds going in I don’t know how people will be able to shoot the latter and all the food from the tourists I’m not sure who’s the bigger menande them or the seagulls. Don’t think will end well for the owls.
 

Cyres

Well-Known Member
I see lots and so good to watch with a thermal. They seem to thrive on some of my perms and stay unmolested as nobody knows they are there.

D
 

steve54

Well-Known Member
The owls around here suffered a great decline last year which at first was attributed to a reduction in numbers of their prey. However after closer examination of environmental conditions, in particular the excessive rain that we'd had, it turned out they they were simply too wet to woo.

















I'll get my coat...

:doh:
 

Hayduke

Well-Known Member
Quite a few where I am just outside Blackpool. Beautiful birds. However buzzards and bloody rooks we have thousands and I mean thousands of them. With all the new builds going in I don’t know how people will be able to shoot the latter and all the food from the tourists I’m not sure who’s the bigger menande them or the seagulls. Don’t think will end well for the owls.

That's a really good point. There is an assumption held by the general public that guns are bad, whereas they are an essential countryside management tool and part of our British heritage.

Whilst the decline in different iconic species is multi-factorial, the gun is often part of the solution e.g. Barn owl vs rooks as above; Atlantic salmon versus sawbills, cormorants and seals; red squirrel and black grouse vs pine marten (in some areas where PM populations have exploded) and corvids. And others ? ? These pressures were historically managed with a gun.

General public and even large numbers of informed professionals don't want to understand that we have managed the balance for neigh on 1,000 years, and it is getting increasingly difficult for us to do so, whilst a range of once common and iconic species are going down the sh!t pan! I don't think BASC or Countryside Alliance or the other advocacy groups have quite nailed it, but there is a job of work to do to.
 

reloader54

Well-Known Member
That's a really good point. There is an assumption held by the general public that guns are bad, whereas they are an essential countryside management tool and part of our British heritage.

Whilst the decline in different iconic species is multi-factorial, the gun is often part of the solution e.g. Barn owl vs rooks as above; Atlantic salmon versus sawbills, cormorants and seals; red squirrel and black grouse vs pine marten (in some areas where PM populations have exploded) and corvids. And others ? ? These pressures were historically managed with a gun.

General public and even large numbers of informed professionals don't want to understand that we have managed the balance for neigh on 1,000 years, and it is getting increasingly difficult for us to do so, whilst a range of once common and iconic species are going down the sh!t pan! I don't think BASC or Countryside Alliance or the other advocacy groups have quite nailed it, but there is a job of work to do to.


in a land far,far away,,, [insert star wars theme tune here.] wouldn't it be beneficial to all concerned if the various orgs involved purely in conservation,ect could accept the fact that shooting/trapping, control of certain species is immensely beneficial to a multitude of others creatures and not just game birds. and has been for longer than some have existed,

and then join forces [I know,I know,:cuckoo: ] a force to be reckoned with,,, or destroyed possibly by the hard core elements in both camps.

ooh,look ,,,,unicorns,:rofl:
 
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