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8 May 2012

Living on the edge

Part of the survey work is to try and determine nest site selection by Long-eared Owls. The nests discovered so far in the Duhallow Survey have been at the very edge of woodland, rather than deep within the woodland itself. Many of the responses to taped calls in the early part of the Survey in March and early April were also from near woodland edge, or copses, rather than unbroken forest. 

The Long-eared Owl nest, circled, in a Spruce tree right at the very edge of a large tract of coniferous and deciduous woodland. The site is near Newmarket (Photo: M.O'Clery).

The Long-eared Owl nest, probably an old Hooded Crow's nest (Photo: M.O'Clery).

Do the owls deliberately seek out these nests on the woodland edge, or are there other factors at play when they decide on a particular nest? Hopefully we will find more nests soon which will help to shed some light on this question.