Please tell us if you see a Barn Owl!
Barn Owls control pests such as rats and mice, but the population has been in long term decline. Loss of habitat – rough grassland for hunting prey – is the major factor, but loss of suitable nest sites has also contributed. Traditional open barns have been enclosed, replaced by different types of barn, or converted into houses. Other suitable nest sites – holes in large, isolated trees – have also disappeared from the landscape in recent times, as trees have died off or been removed. The local population is still around only half that found by a survey in 1932.
Barn Owl was on the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern 3 (2009), but the decline has been reversed by provision of nest boxes. Locally this has been done by the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Barn Owl Groups, with help from Community Wildlife Groups. Camlad Valley Group would like to add their help to Barn Owls by putting up nest boxes in our area.
Nest boxes are more likely to be used, and help increase the population, if they are put near to existing Barn Owl territories and foraging areas, which is why we would like people to report their sightings.
If you spot a Barn Owl, please email Peter Fenner at CamladValley@ShropsCWGs.org.uk Include the date, time of day and location (an Ordnance Survey grid reference is ideal). We will use the sightings data collected to help determine where nest boxes should be sited.
And to help spread the message, we would really appreciate it if you could print off and display the poster downloadable by clicking this button.
Even if you find a dead Barn Owl we would like you to report it. (In fact, if you find ANY dead bird of prey, the Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme would like you to send the corpse to them, so that they can assess the level of any chemical contaminants.)