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14 August 2012

New Barn Owl site

The Duhallow Barn Owl Survey has revealed some unusual nest sites in summer 2012, including one in a water tank (see this post HERE), one in an unfinished new house (see this post HERE) and three in tree cavities (see this post HERE). 

Another new nest was found yesterday, though in many respects it is a fairly typical nest site in Ireland. It is in a secluded, abandoned two story farmhouse in Duhallow, with many slates missing and the inner floors collapsed. Two fully developed young, well able to fly, were in the upper section of the house, and there was much evidence of pellets and feathers indicating they were there for quite some time. Indeed, locals tell us they have seen owls at this site for many years.

One of the more typical Barn Owls sites in an abandoned farm house (Photo: M.O'Clery).

Like many Barn Owl sites in Duhallow, and elsewhere in Ireland, the young must now be on the verge of leaving, and it might even be the case that there were three or more chicks here, and that some have already left. These coming weeks are fraught with danger for the fledglings as they leave the relative safety of the nest site to find their own territories. Young Barn Owls appear to disperse in random directions, and can travel between 10km and 100 km or more, and once they leave, they won't be back. Hopefully they will survive the dangerous journey and find their own secure nest sites.