Extreme Owl Box Antics
Wednesday, February 14th 2018
A small team from Foxglove braved the wild winter weather conditions yesterday, to repair and replace nest boxes for owls across the training area. As owls are early breeders, this was a race against time and could not be postponed. The large boxes are designed for Tawny Owls, Barn Owls and Kestrels although other species do use them too. They were built by staff and volunteers at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve in Norfolk which is managed by the Hawk and Owl Trust. The Trust have kindly donated the boxes and in return we will monitor their use and provide data on the breeding success of birds that use them.
As you can see the journey to the various sites was interesting to say the least! This was Cordilleras Lane at Feldom which some of you will be familiar with.
It was only made possible by travelling in landrovers.
Working with heavy boxes at the top of a ladder is not easy at the best of times however, Martin rose to the challenge!
A main part of the task is to carry the equipment from the vehicles to the trees as they are not all easily accessible even by 4x4.
The team were rewarded by stunning views in these remote and isolated places. This was Waitgate Bank which is bad enough in the sunshine!
The group successfully upgraded/replaced many boxes and it won't be long before the owls and kestrels are enjoying the warm, dry boxes to roost and hopefully nest in.
Many thanks to Tony, Martin, Peter and John for their hard work in the bitter cold. Let's hope that the raptors appreciate it! By day's end 6 new boxes had been installed and 2 had been repaired. Tomorrow a regulary breeding Barn Owl at Strensall will get a new box, the existing being well past its sell by date. On Friday the last 2 Barn Owl boxes at Warcop will be replaced! We are then all set for the season!
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