Barn Owls

Young Barn Owls Tom Beasley Suffolk

Young Barn Owls                                                         Tom Beasley Suffolk

After 2014’s massive year for Barn Owl breeding, 2015 has been miserable. M reckons he has inspected 40 boxes in the whole county this year and ringed one single chick!

A retrieving the chicks

A retrieving the chicks


Better news, though. A box near Sherborne contained a very young chick and three eggs at the beginning of July.

Several weeks later there were three well-grown young, just past the ‘ugly’ stage and shedding their juvenile down whenever they moved.

Measuring to estimate the age

Measuring to estimate the age





All three were ringed and measured. Incredibly (to me at least) you can age the chicks pretty accurately by measuring the seventh primary feather’s length and looking it up in guru Colin Shawyer‘s tables.

M weighing a chick in the bag

M weighing a chick in the bag




Weighing was also a surprise – the older the chick, the lighter they are.
They reach their maximum weight in the nest and slim down to flying
weight as they develop.

Website woes and ideas for a refresh

As some of you may have noticed the website has not been updated this month. Unfortunately (or fortunately – depending on how you look at it) the software that supports the editing has been upgraded and (you knew this was coming didn’t you?) no longer works with the template used to build the site. The site will therefore  have to be rebuilt.

The good news is that it should work better on mobile devices (iPhones, iPads and the like*) and we know that we do get visitors who use these.

It also gives us the opportunity to redesign the site – so if there are things you would like to see let us know using the ‘info‘ address.

Any thoughts by the end of September please.

*other computer and communications equipment are availble!)