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23 June 2013

Barn Owl pair gives up on nesting for this year

Male and female Barn Owl, Co. Kerry, 23rd June 2013 (M.O'Clery).

This beautiful pair of Barn Owls were caught and carefully measured and ringed at their nest site in Co. Kerry yesterday. The site has been known about for four years and they nested successfully there in the first two, but failed to breed last year. Despite a careful inspection of the nesting area yesterday (under licence), no eggs or chicks were found and as the pair were roosting together in the same small area, it seems they have given up trying to breed this year. Perhaps because of the cold spring, there simply wasn't enough food to bring the female into breeding condition.

Another interesting aspect of this site is that a total of four adults have been trapped here in four years, but never the same individual twice. This shows that at some sites at least, there would appear to be a relatively high turnover of birds.