Beatrice has kindly shared her recordings of feeding time in one of her two her owl boxes
” I first put up barn owl boxes about 20 years ago. For a number of years both boxes have cameras and I have been able to follow the highs and lows of barn owl live ever since.
Two very low points stand out. The first was when a weasel made a meal of the eggs and left the female owl cowering in a corner. The second was after a disastrous decision by the owls to lay eggs in August. Only one made it near fledging in early November. However late one evening at about 10 p.m. the owlet was screeching for food and an adult flew in and killed it with a single peck to the head. We retrieved the corpse having ascertained that no owl was present as it is illegal to disturb them. The owlet was perfectly formed but would not have survived fledging so late in the year.
Last year five owlets fledged which was a record, however sadly one fell victim to a collision with a car on the Bepton Road. This year the female laid four eggs but only two owlets have made it. Probably a combination of the drought conditions which do not help the voles etc. reproduce. The heat does not do them any good as owls can only pant and it was a close call with the owlets in July. One was lying on its side.
The Barn Owl Trust have told me that reports show the average number of fledging owlets to be two in 2022. Not enough to ensure the replacement of adult Barn Owls. Of the two only one might make it through to 2023….
Birds are in dire straights at the moment due to the continuing decimation of species through bird flu and also habitat loss. The RSPB reports that 70 bird species found in the UK are now on the Red List…..”