Young barn owls ringed and weighed


This is a video about a barn owl nest where baby owls are hatching.

Tonight, the regional ornithological society went to ring young barn owls at a nest in a farmer’s barn near the Eempolder nature reserve. The society has been doing this research for 25 years.

There are six owlets in this nest. The ringing should be now, as the older chicks are about 60 days old and will fly away soon. The oldest chick which had been ringed earlier, has already flown away. Some young barn owls which can already fly, will return to the nest to get food from their parents.

The ladder goes up. Five owlets go from the nestbox into the bag.

Downstairs, one questions for the reearchers is: how long are their wings? Are they healthy? To find out, they are weighed. Yes, they are healthy. One weighs 340g.

The rings go around their legs.

One barn owl, ringed in this area, was later found in the Ukraine. Others in southern France and Spain. Barn owls do not have seasonal migration; but sometmes, they fly long distances until there is a place which they like.

One of the juvenile owls is a darker colour form than the others.

The youngest owlet is still downy, while the others are already all feathers. The youngest one is just 43 days old. The chicks do not hatch at the same time.

Six owlets is a good result. The maximum number of eggs in a barn owl nest is ten. This is a good year for barn owls, as there are many mice and voles. Probably, the juveniles in this nest, as it is still early for common voles, are eating wood mice and brown rats.

Barn owl nest numbers in this area vary a lot, depending on rodent numbers. Rodents can survive cold snowy winters by digging burrows. However, in wet winters, they drown.

Even in good rodent years, many barn owls may die. About 80% of dead barn owls found are victims of motor traffic.

Before the young owls are put back into the nest, the nest is cleaned. Probably, the parents will have a second clutch; maybe even a third clutch.

The Namibia Raptor Rehabilitation Research and Education Centre (Narrec) has urged the public not to destroy the nests of breeding barn owls, as these creatures serve as perfect pest controllers: here.

USA: Barn owls have not been seen in Michigan in over a decade, but a new guest at a bird rehabilitation facility in Grand Rapids has ornithologists excited. According to MLive.com, a male barn owl was delivered to the Blandford Nature Center May 21 after being discovered ill and weak in a barn. Initial examinations were inconclusive about what caused the bird’s condition, but poisoning could be at fault. Fortunately, the bird has been recovering strongly, but it is not yet known if it will be able to be released: here.

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16 thoughts on “Young barn owls ringed and weighed

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  5. The herons may have left their nests already, but when a crew arrived to make essential repairs to a popular rookery in Utah, new occupants were already enjoying the area, and construction was halted. According to the Deseret News, a clutch of three baby barn owls was discovered at the great blue heron rookery at the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, and the project to replace toppled platforms and reinforce towers the large wading birds use for nesting has been postponed.

    To give the barn owls time to mature safely without stressing the parents, the project will not resume until at least October, after they will be large enough to leave the nest. At that time, new platforms will be installed to replace those damaged by a windstorm in December 2011. The herons will begin nesting in the rookery as early as February.

    http://birding.about.com/b/2012/08/29/heron-rookery-raises-owls.htm

  6. The Sweet Life of Barn Owls

    Down in the sugarcane fields of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), Barn Owls are just beginning their fall nesting attempts. Here, Barn Owl densities are among the highest in the world, and a thriving nest box program is partially responsible for this success. We asked Dr. Richard Raid of the Everglades Research and Education Center, University of Florida (Belle Glade), just what makes life so sweet for Barn Owls in the EAA. According to Dr. Raid, during most of the year rodents that live in the sugarcane fields provide the owls with an almost unlimited source of food. These rodents can cause massive damage to crops, so the owls help growers by removing some of these pests. The owls can raise two broods per year, corresponding with the cycles of sugarcane harvest. With the owls’ unusually large brood size of 4-8 chicks per nesting attempt, and each chick capable of eating one and a half times its weight in prey per day, it’s easy to see why growers might be sweet on these handsome owls.

    If you would like to encourage Barn Owls to nest in your area, Dr. Raid offers some suggestions. First, start by putting up a Barn Owl nesting box in appropriate open habitat (i.e., sparse trees, low vegetation). You can mount it in a barn or silo, ideally in a structure with at least two exit routes. You can also mount it on an 8-10′ free-standing pole, preferably facing north to reduce the amount of daylight in the box. To sweeten the deal, add a predator guard to the pole. Nest boxes will be colonized more rapidly if placed in areas with exisiting owl populations, so if you don’t live in a rural area, talk to a local farmer or rancher about maintaining a box on their land. Finally, prevent bees and wasps from colonizing the box by applying a thin layer of bar soap on the inside surface of the roof. You can help us track the nesting success of Barn Owls by registering your boxes and monitoring nests with NestWatch.

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