I received a phonecall from Rob Hoare last week to say that 4 Little Owl chicks were ready to be ringed at one of five boxes he has put up around the Clifton Grove area. Ian Blackmore used to ring these for us, but I will now be taking up monitoring these boxes.
On Thursday evening Gary and I joined Rob to ring the brood. The female was sat in the box so we got her out first and she was already ringed, perhaps the same female Ian ringed last year? The 4 chicks however had dwindled to 2, and a disembodied wing and leg suggested that the owls had resorted to cannibalism in order to survive. The remaining two chicks were ringed and seemed pretty healthy, so hopefully they will continue that way.
Cheers to Rob for inviting us to ring the birds, and thanks to Rachel Shock for the photos.