Monday, 16 April 2012

Checking Tawny Owl nest boxes, 13-15 April

With great help from Nick, Duncan, Tina and Ian, we've checked 38 Tawny (still another two to do) and six Barn Owl nest boxes for Tawnies over the last three days. Disappointingly, only five held breeding Tawny Owls and another had an addled egg. The total was more than double that last year. However, we did ring three new females and re-captured another originally ringed in 2006 (see below). Only two of the Tawnies had prey cached and the other two were on the light side. All in all not looking a great breeding season for them. Also ringed were two broods of Stock Doves.

This female was originally ringed as an 6F in 2006, near Eakring, and has been caught in the same box five times now with her chicks. You can see several generations of feathers in the secondaries in particular and she was aged as an 8 this time i.e. at least three years old. The box was down in 2010 and had squirrels in 2011. I suspect she used an adjacent Barn Owl box in 2010. (JL)

Now off to do the same in east Lincs. It'll be interesting to see how they compare to here in south Notts.


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