Friday, 13 June 2014

Owl you need is love!

Erica Murray with two baby barn owls found in one of the nesting boxes
Baby barn owls are getting all the love they need to thrive thanks to a scheme to protect this special species.

The Broads Barn Owl Project aims to conserve and increase local barn owl and kestrel numbers in the area.

The Broads Authority, in partnership with the Hawk & Owl Trust has provided fifty barn owl and kestrel nest boxes to landowners with suitable rough grassland areas.

And the project has recently benefited from the Love the Broads visitor giving scheme, which has funded the purchase of seventeen more barn owl nesting boxes.

BA Ecologist Erica Murray who went out this week to check the boxes found them all full as breeding booms.

The project is important because many traditional barn owl roosting and nesting sites in farm buildings and old trees have been lost over the years due to barn conversions and tree disease.

This combined with a loss of prey rich rough grassland hunting habitat has resulted in a decline in barn owl numbers.

The project also aims to provide landowners with advice on how to manage their grassland to support healthy numbers of voles and mice, the favourite prey of barn owl and kestrel.

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