June news, Lambourn Valley Barn Owl Group

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From general trends of vole populations, 2009 was predicted to be a poor year for Tyto alba. However, signs are not too bad in the Lambourn Valley, even after that harsh February snow.

Nest site monitoring began this month. By this time egg-laying females are very likely to have completed clutches, and with luck most owlets are hatched. But the Barn Owl is so flexibly responsive to prey availability, that each pair might be at quite different stages of breeding.

Barn Owl chick held by licensed BTO ringer (photo by Bridget Griffin)

Barn Owl chick held by licensed BTO ringer (photo by Bridget Griffin)

So far, the first sets of results include:

  • Five sites with Barn Owl chicks
  • a Barn Owl pair without young
  • Stock Dove – some on eggs
  • Jackdaw using or finished with many boxes
  • Honeybees nesting in a tree box

All sorts of animals like a cosy cavity for a home! There are more sites to check, and we hope to discover more owlets. In spring we installed boxes at a number of farm locations, providing more owl homes in the Lambourn Valley. Thanks to local landowners and donors for making this possible.

If you would like to donate towards our work, please send a cheque payable to Lambourn Valley Barn Owl Group, and post to the group via Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn, RG17 7UU. Thank you.

Jason Ball. 07719 225965

LVBOG volunteers operate under the auspices of Pang, Kennet and Lambourn Valleys Countryside Project; monitoring is under their Schedule 1 licence.
Jason Ball is a licensed BTO ringer for Barn Owl.

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