On Tuesday, Habitat First Group ecologist Dr Phoebe Carter and head groundsman Bob Iles went to check our specially crafted Barn owl nesting boxes, here’s the story of what they found…
Yesterday we went to check the Barn owl boxes we have on the wider estate. We were told that because of the cold winter the Barn owls across Gloucestershire were all a bit late in breeding this year. However, our owls in the box on the corner of Somerford Lagoon haven’t waited around and 3 owlets were found in the box. The owlets are all of varying ages (around 5 days, 1 week and 2 weeks old) as the eggs are laid at different times over a few weeks so that the parents aren’t having to provide food to lots of hungry mouths all at the same time. At this age the mother is still brooding them to keep them warm but once they are around 3 weeks old they will be left alone apart from the parents dropping off food for them. Normally we put a leg ring on the owlets so we can identify them in the future, but these were all a little small still. We will go back in a few weeks and put rings on their legs and by then they will also be looking a little prettier!
Here are some photos from Bob of the owlets and of one of the parents taking food to the young. The habitats we manage on the Estate support lots of small mammals (mice, voles, shrews) that the Barn owls rely on for survival. This is at least the 16th year that we have had baby Barn owls in the box at Somerford Lagoon. The other 2 boxes have yet to be used by Barn owls but hopefully, they will be in the future.
Happy 16th Baby Barn Owls Anniversary everyone, we look forward to celebrating two decades of barn owls at Lower Mill Estate in a few years time.Back to news