One of Britain’s most beautiful and endangered birds, the barn owl, is successfully breeding in Ouse Valley Park. A recent survey of owl nest boxes by The Parks Trust’s has revealed two fledgling barn owls.
The two barn owls were found in a nest box installed by The Parks Trust by local owl expert Paddy Jackson and a Trust volunteer. Once a common farmland bird, barn owl numbers declined dramatically in the 1960s due to pesticides and the loss of traditional nesting sites. Today, to help bolster owl numbers landowners, like The Parks Trust, are taking measures to improve habitat and provide extra nest sites for them.
With only an estimated population of 3,000-5,000 barn owl pairs in the United Kingdom every successfully breeding pair is extremely important to their survival. The discovery of two healthy fledgling barn owls has given park rangers new hope about the local recovery of these beautiful birds.
Martin Kincaid, The Parks Trust’s Biodiversity Officer, said: “We are thrilled that these magnificent birds are breeding successfully on our land. We’ve installed six boxes so far and plan to install more boxes around the parks this winter. Ringing the chicks is important so that we can accurately monitor the barn owl population in our parks and try to help protect this species.”
Barn owls are found at a variety of locations throughout Milton Keynes and are most active at dawn and dusk. The Parks Trust is keen to ask members of the public to avoid disturbing the birds but if anyone sees a barn owl they should notify the Trust on 01908 233600 or via email at email@example.com.