John Lusby visits one of last years Barn Owl nest sites (under licence from the National Parks and Wildlife Service) to ring, weigh and measure the chicks.
With the first Barn Owl chicks of 2012 now already appearing (see the post below), we are getting set to monitor the known Barn Owl sites in Duhallow, and hopefully find a few more new ones. We aim to time a visit to the nest to when the chicks are about 25-30 days or older, in order not to disturb the female. She will be roosting away from the nest during the daytime, once the chicks are old enough to regulate their own body temperature – about 20 days old. The male will already be roosting elsewhere, as once the eggs are laid, he usually only visits the nest to feed the female and young.
These visits will usually take place in late June to late August. In the meantime, by observing the nest from a distance, we can work out from the vocalisations of the chicks and behaviour of the adults approximately what age the chicks are, and then arrange the best time to visit the nest to ring the chicks, as in the video above (Video: John Lusby).