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Barn owls suffer worst year on record

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 08:38 PM

Barn owls suffered their worst year on record in 2013 as they struggled in the bitterly cold spring, conservationists have said.

Results from barn owl monitoring schemes around the UK revealed the number of sites where nesting took place last year was significantly down in every area compared to previous years, and some surveys found no nests with eggs in at all.


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#2    Lilly


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Posted 26 April 2014 - 08:51 PM

I love owls, this saddens me to no end. I hope they can make a recovery in the future.

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#3    Sundew



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Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:12 PM

There numbers will likely rebound with warmer weather and/or an increase in rodent populations. As long as there are granaries or feed for horses and cows, there will be rodents and as they multiply so will the Barn Owls. I believe Snowy Owl's populations rise and fall with the populations of Lemmings which go through periods of few animals to hoards of them followed by population crashes, at which time things get bad for the Snowy Owls. Sad for the individual animals, but that is the way nature sometimes works, especially in temperate or arctic climates.

#4    Ashotep


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Posted 27 April 2014 - 12:08 AM

Hate to hear about animals like this having problems surviving.  When warmer weather comes surely they will rebound.

#5    Malaria_Kidd


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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:56 PM

View PostLilly, on 26 April 2014 - 08:51 PM, said:

I love owls, this saddens me to no end. I hope they can make a recovery in the future.

I agree Lilly and we'd be overrun by small rodents if it were not for predators like owls and hawks.

Southern Indiana:

Here is a barn owl nest's live cam operated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The web page says it's just one of 18 known nest sites in the state.


Only 20 viewers are able to see the live shot at one time. The page explains everything and it includes a barn owl bio.

Edited by Malaria_Kidd, 30 April 2014 - 02:00 PM.

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#6    George Ford

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 03:56 PM

Well although the spring was a bit colder then normal (not up here in the North East of UK) it was overall a warmer winter with very little snow but lots of rain. I think the level of rainfall last year has effect the number of rodents. Many fields etc, were water logged and flooded which caused lots of rodent nests to become flooded and vast numbers drowned. So what Barn Owls are left have much less food then normal. We can all help by leaving food out where birds can't get it, to encourage mice.

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