New Melling Residents

It’s always a treat to see the ghostly flight of the barn owls hunting in the twilight. Later this year we hope there will be another three to join their number.

Our barn owl box was erected in Autumn 2016, and in the spring of 2017 pigeons moved in!

However, in 2018 two barn owls took up residence. Unfortunately, in common with most barn owls, there were no offspring that year.

This year, though, there are owlets. We had seen at least two as they ventured towards the entrance of the box and had seen the parent/s taking food into the box.

Time to call the ‘owl man’. We had made contact with Dr K Briggs, a licensed and registered barn owl expert, last year. When told there appeared to be more than one owlet he came to inspect the box.

He found three owlets which he then weighed and ringed. The oldest has well formed wings and has little of its nesting down left, the middle one has less well formed feathers and more down.

The youngest is very immature and much smaller than its siblings. It is almost completely covered with its nesting down. Its’ wings are very poorly formed at this stage.

We were invited to get up close to watch the operation - hence the photos.

Maybe we’ll be lucky and they will all survive.

July 2019 - MS

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