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Tawny Owls

Monday, April 5th 2021

Tawny Owls have been monitored by the Swaledale Ringing Group for 30 years and this work is ongoing. The group look after over 100 large nest boxes which are not just used by owls; some are inhabited by Kestrels, Barn Owls and occasionally Jackdaws and squirrels too! Some of the boxes were checked last week to see what stage the Tawny Owls are at and most seem to be sitting on eggs already with many having up to 3 eggs. The owl shown here was a new one that was ringed for the first time.

As to be expected, most of the adults found on the nests were already ringed. One of them (in the photo below) was first ringed back in 2007 and had been caught several times since. Another was ringed as a chick in 2008 and hadn't been caught since. This kind of information on survival and longevity is extremely valuable to the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) who analyse it to identify patterns and trends in the owl population.

At the end of the year data is also submitted to the Hawk and Owl Trust who kindly provide some of the nest boxes.

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