Barn Owl Record Breaking Day!
Today, across The Parks Trust’s land in Ouse Valley Park, a total of 15 fledgling barn owls have been ringed. Bird ringing is the attachment of a small, individually numbered metal or plastic tag to the leg or wing of a wild bird to enable individual identification. This helps to keep track of the movements of the bird and its life history. The data collected helps us to understand the habitats that these beautiful Barn Owls are living in plus the annual monitoring provides us with the information we need to maintain these habitats to support the wildlife of the future.
During the process of 'Ringing' the fledglings are momentarily removed from their boxes, sexed, weighed and ringed before being placed safely back where they were found. Our specialist had already checked all of our owl nest boxes earlier in the year but as many pairs across the UK have raised a second brood of chicks in 2019 we thought it would be worthwhile repeating the survey in September, and it certainly was!
This year the Barn Owls have been able to rear a second brood due to the plentiful food supply. The staple diet of barn owls is the field vole. In years where the vole population is low, the owls suffers but this year the vole numbers have been very high allowing the owls to raise not just one but two lots of chicks. To have 15 owl chicks ringed in one day breaks all previous records and shows just how healthy the ecosystem is!