The British Olympic Team have not been the only success story this summer – BRCC’s Barn Owl boxes in the Ivel & Ouse valleys have been overflowing with chicks. The 2nd best year ever (since the majority of the boxes were erected in 2002) has seen a total of 49 young recorded from the 50 boxes – a stark contrast to last year when only 2 boxes were successful, with a total of six young. 2016 has only been beaten by 2008 when an amazing 87 young were recorded.
A relaxed owlet ready to be weighed and measured.
There were 25 young from the boxes in the Ivel valley and 24 from the Ouse boxes. The largest family, with 5 young, were found in a box in the Ouse valley. The low number in 2015 has been attributed to the low number of voles, the Barn Owls main prey item. Hopefully 2017 will have plenty of voles and yield another good crop of owlets.
Barn Owls are a protected species and it is illegal to disturb or interfere with a box. The boxes in the Ivel and Ouse valleys are checked by a British Trust for Ornithology licence-holder, for whose voluntary services BRCC are very grateful.