My friend Gordon Ellis has 30 boxes in Browtowe Borough, on the west side of the County bordering Derbyshire. From a slow beginning, we’ve gradually improved the number of Barn Owls from just 1 pair a few years ago to 8 last year which produced 19 chicks. Though there’s some very good habitat, the overall area is higher than the Rushcliffe area with a heavier snow fall and we expected the cold winter to have had an effect on this year’s breeding figures. This was born out by the absence of several pairs from last year.
However, it wasn’t all bad news as the 2nd box we checked had a nice brood of 3 well feathered females. This box had produced the first Barn Owl for BBOP back in 2005, and now was full of female chicks.
Disappointingly, these were the only chicks ringed but we were surprised to find adults still with eggs in 2 boxes that had produced last year, these are 6-8 weeks behind most other breeding Barn Owls and you have to wonder whether this is an effect of the harsh winter in this area!