Barn Owl’s

Barn owl

3 of 4 Barn Owl Chicks, ringed in 2014.

Barn Owls hadn’t been recorded as a breeding species in the Glossop area since sometime in the 1980’s. With increased sightings each year it was fantastic to learn of  a pair breeding nearby in 2014.

Barn Owl

5th Barn Owl Young 2014

There were 5 young at the time of ringing and 4 birds were ringed under licence from the BTO, the 5th bird was very advanced and mobile and moved too far into the crevice to be safely captured.

2015 saw a number of other breeding attempts recorded in our study area, but what we found is that some are breeding in places which we might not have expected, some in sites that could make them vulnerable.

Given the recent breeding success and the small but seemingly growing local population, we though that it would be worth trying some nest boxes in areas where owls are being seen or where the habitat is suitable for Barn Owls.

DOS2At that time we were also in talks with a number of conversation groups about monitoring Barn Owls in Derbyshire. We asked if there might be any funding available to help with this project,  Derbyshire Ornithological Society said they would be willing to provide some                                               help with funding for a number of boxes which would be                                                               manufactured, erected, maintained and monitored by PDRMG .

The boxes were built using the Barn Owl Trust Box design which can be found here

build boxes

Barn Owl Boxes being built

install boxes

Barn Owl Boxes being installed

A number of landowners and farmers expressed an interest in helping with the Barn Owl Project and we have installed some of the boxes in barns and disused outbuildings around the Dark Peak.

Do You Have a Suitable Building?

  • At least 4 metres high.
  • With an opening or hole at least 3 metres above ground level which overlooks open countryside.
  • Where the nestbox can be positioned 3+ metres above the ground.
  • Where the nestbox access hole is visible to an owl from the most likely entrance point.
  • Ideally within 1 km of areas or strips of rough grassland. It doesn’t matter what the building is made of, or used for.
  • Barn Owls can learn to tolerate noise and activity as long as they have something to hide in – such as a nestbox.
  • Rodenticides are a real threat to our Barn Owl Population – Please see this page for information on How to control rats as safely as possible

More information on What Barn Owls need is available from the RSPB and Barn Owl Trust

If you think that you could accommodate a nest box with a view to helping provide a suitable place for Barn Owls to breed, please get in touch here

Finally a big thank you to DOS for their kind sponsorship of the project and thanks also to those who have already had Barn Owl boxes installed on their premises and those that we haven’t quite got around to yet (mainly those a little further afield), let’s hope we can make a difference and see Barn Owls breeding regularly in the boxes provided.

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About Mike Price

A member of Sorby Breck Ringing Group and Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group
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