Thursday, 9 November 2017

Final pulli of 2017?

On Tuesday afternoon I had a phone call from one of our Barn Owl landowner's near Aberystwyth to say that althought she new it was a bit unlikely she thought she might have young owls in the nest box again (I had already ringed a brood of 5 large chicks there in July). I knew that Chris Griffiths had ringed his final two broods of the year just a few weeks earlier so informed her that it was not that unlikely and that I would try and get over to check as soon as I could. Yesterday afternoon I checked the box and there was indeed a 2nd brood of 3 chicks which were duly ringed, weighed and measured and all appeared to be a good weight and in good health. 

The smallest chick had primaries less than half emerged and it is quite likely that, barring bad weather, it might still be in the nest in December!

Whilst this might not be that unusual in the milder climate of southern England it is pretty unusual for the hill-farms of Mid Wales. I have only ever ringed a brood of Barn Owls in November once before and they were at a more advanced stage so this is the latest brood I have yet encountered.  2017 has been a quite remarkable breeding season for Barn Owl in Mid Wales though with Chris having ringed over 200 chicks himself and the group having ringing well over 300 between us.

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