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.

Posted in Nest Boxes, Nest Recording, Owls, peak district, raptor, reporting, ringed bird | Tagged , , , , , ,

Just in time for Migration

hobby wingOne of the young Hobbies we ringed at a nest in Cheshire has unfortunately had a collision with a wire fencing close to the nest site, resulting in damage to the soft tissue of the underside of the wing as can be seen in this picture.



WP_20150827_11_31_46_ProLuckily help was on hand when the bird was found and local birder, falconer and raptor worker Phil was able to collect the bird quickly, despite being very busy at work.




A call to a coupDSCN1268le of friends and the bird was en route to AVS at Northwich. A fantastic team who offer advice and help to the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group when requested.

Thankfully although extremely bruised there were no fractures evident and due to the quick action of all involved hopefully no permanent harm done.

Following cleaning up of the wound (using a falconry hood to keep the bird calm; ‘hoodwinking’ it into thinking it was night-time!), some topical and systemic pain relief/anti-inflammatories and fluid therapy the bird was delivered back to Phil for a short rehabilitation period in his aviary before being released back in to the wild where it quickly rejoined it’s parents and sibling in with plenty of time to recover before the long migration journey south to Africa

Posted in birds of prey, Eurasian Hobby, falco subbuteo, Hobby, Injured bird of prey, Injured raptor, Protection, Rescue, ringed bird, ringed bird of prey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Merlin Recovery – EY03558

One of a brood of 4 Merlin ringed at a confidential site near to Mossley Gtr Manchester on the 1st of July 2015.

This young female was recovered dead, a road casualty in Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire on the 30th of July.

85km South South East, 29 days after ringing, approx 14 days after fledging.

We would like to thank the finder for reporting this unfortunate bird, more details of what to do if you find a ringed bird or a dead bird of prey can be found HERE


Posted in birds of prey, Injured bird of prey, Merlin, Nest Recording, Protection, raptor, Recoveries, reporting, reporting ringed birds

The Merlin, Snowfinch Publishing

merlin bookThe Merlin is a fascinating small falcon, standing outside the usual grouping of the ‘True Falcons’, and with a range that is confined to northern climes, an exclusive preference that is shared by only one other, the much larger Gyrfalcon.

This is the first comprehensive book on the species, covering its complete circumpolar range. The book starts with a general comments on the evolution of the True Falcons and thoughts on their grouping, then covers the general characteristics of the Merlin, the species’ habitat, its diet, breeding (territory, displays, pair formation, nest sites, eggs, chick growth, nest predation and breeding success), migration and wintering, survival, the Merlin’s friend and foes, and estimations of the world population. It also includes data gathered with a unit flown on a male Merlin.

Previous books by the author include the award-winning Gyrfalcon (co-produced with Russian expert Eugene Potapov), the Snowy Owl (also with Eugene Potapov), the first field guide to birds and mammals of the Arctic, and The Arctic: The Complete Story which covered all aspects of the area.

For further information and photograph scans, contact Richard Sale –

Posted in Protection

Sparrowhawk Recoveries – DD47654 (male) and EL61961 (female).

The 4th and 5th of last weeks ringing recoveries were Sparrowhawks.

Once again PDRMG would like to thank the finders for reporting these birds, more details of what to do if you find a ringed bird or a dead bird of prey can be found here

DD47654 Male Sparrowhawk, 1 of a brood of 5 ringed at Newmillerdam, WakefieldWest Yorkshire July 2005 – Found dead September 2014, at RenishawDerbyshire Duration: 3348 days Distance: 41 km.

DD47654 copy

Click image to enlarge


A brood of 5 Sparrowhawk
















EL61961 Female, Sparrowhawk, 1 of a brood of 5 ringed at Silkstone Beck, South Yorkshire July 2014 – Found dying in Thurlstone 11/11/2014 Duration: 122 days Distance: 7 km.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Posted in birds of prey, dead bird of prey, hit glass, hit window, peak district, raptor, Recoveries, reporting, reporting ringed birds, ringed bird, ringed bird of prey, Sparrowhawk | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Kestrel Recovery – EX36030

Details of the 3rd of 5 recoveries from last week.

A Kestrel one of a Brood of 6 ringed in June 2014 at a Glossop farm (in a box we erected in 2012) . This bird was recovered dead in 19/10/2014 at Marsden, West Yorkshire. Distance: 21 km from the nest site.


If you look closely there is a 6th young Kestrel behind the bird on the far left


Click image to enlarge


Posted in Common Kestrel, dead bird of prey, peak district, raptor, Recoveries, reporting, reporting ringed birds, ringed bird of prey | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Long-eared Owl Recovery – GN04387

Details of the 2nd of 5 recoveries received this week.

A Long-eared Owl, one of a brood of four ringed near to Tintwistle, Derbyshire in May 2007. This bird was recovered dead in July 2014 98 KM from the nest site in Temple High Grange, Lincolnshire.

We would like to thank the finders for reporting these birds, more details of what to do if you find a ringed bird or a dead bird of prey can be found here

A Long-eared Owlet, ringed 2014 at the same site.

Click on the image to enlarge

Click on the image to enlarge

Posted in birds of prey, dead bird of prey, injured Owl, Nest Recording, Owls, Protection, raptor, Recoveries, reporting, reporting ringed birds | Tagged , , , , , , ,