Two sites were visited last night as part of the ongoing Duhallow Raptor Survey, and three Long-eared Owls were detected.
Adult Long-eared Owl (Richard T. Mills).
At the first site, a male and a female owl responded to a tape recording of their calls. This is done under licence from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and is only done for a brief time so as not to unduly disturb potentially nesting birds. One of the calls from a male was within a couple of hundred metres of one of last years nests (see this post HERE).
At the second site, although the tape was played, there was no response, but a male Long-eared Owl called several times, about 300m from one of last years nests (see this post HERE).
So, an encouraging start to the follow-up survey work in Duhallow. Two of the nests form last year have owls still in the vicinity. There is every chance they will breed again in these areas, and might even be on eggs at this stage, though with the recent cold weather, this may have been delayed.