20 Jun 2013

Little Owls

With Barry reporting a lot of activity at his Little Owl site and an inspection a couple of weeks ago finding the hen on eggs we took the opportunity to ring the youngsters recently.

Actually there was only one well fed youngster and one un-hatched egg! The first thing warm I pulled out of the hole was a dead juvenile rat! I hate rats!

The female Little Owl was also ringed and evidence of their hunting prowess was provided not only by the dead rats but the blood around her neck and bill.
Chris has installed some nest boxes on the farm and we took the opportunity to check on these and ring any pullus present.
As with other areas there seems to be a lack of nesting birds this year with only 2 of the boxes containing young.

John & I also went to check on the Swallows at his farm site where another brood was ringed and two adult Swallows were caught. We were pretty chuffed that the male was a re-trap from last year when I'd ringed it as an adult. This was the first time a returning bird had been caught on site although one bird was controlled In the Orange Free State and another juvenile, ringed in the nest as a pullus, was controlled later the same year at Leighton Moss RSPB.

Photo's courtesy Barry Barnacal & Steve Williams.

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