2017 is a record year for barn owl group

Tuesday 14th November 2017

Image by Jon Hawkins

A barn owl action group is pleased to report that 2017 has been a record year for the stunning bird of prey in Staffordshire.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Barn Owl Action Group (BOAG) has recorded 68 nesting pairs and an estimated 190 chicks fledged across the county.

The 2017 results top 2012 when the group recorded 53 nesting pairs and an estimated 151 chicks fledged.

BOAG are made up of a small group of volunteers affiliated with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and formed in 2001 after it was noted there were just 30 records of barn owls in total in Staffordshire.

The group monitor and install next boxes across the county and report on their findings. Since forming, they have installed well over 450 nest boxes in Staffordshire to provide alternative roost and nest sites for the barn owl so they have plenty of places to find refuge and rear their young.

Helen Cottam, BOAG co-ordinator, said: “These results are fantastic and are proof that what the group is doing is working.

“This year has been a record year for a number of reasons. The barn owl population has stayed constant since 2014 with a rise in the last couple of years, and we had a mild winter and early spring this year.

“So with the mild weather conditions and an abundance of prey the barn owl has greatly benefited and has been able to breed successfully this year.”

To record a sighting of a barn owl, email the group boag@staffs-wildlife.org.uk and include an address of the sighting, a date and time, and/or a six figure grid reference.

For more information about BOAG contact Helen on 01889 880100 or email h.cottam@staffs-wildlife.org.uk

Image by Jon Hawkins