Owls Take Residence
Two years ago Brudenell Estates followed careful guidelines when creating the perfect nesting boxes for owls. This diligence has paid off and whilst following advice to clean out some of the pellets in each box, we were delighted to find that 75% of our boxes are being occupied by Barn Owls.
Barn owls are usually monogamous, staying faithful to their partner until one of them dies. They often use the same nest site every year and have an elaborate courtship ritual to re-establish the pair bond every spring.
Whilst creating our new tree plantations, 12 owl boxes were installed, each facing in an easterly direction and on posts 10′ high. The location is well away from roads and has very little light pollution, no wonder the boxes proved to be a popular place to raise young. On the grass edge of an established treeline and with open fields, rough ground and shrubs, the rural location offers an abundance of small mammals to hunt down.
In order to live and breed, a pair of barn owls needs to eat around 5,000 prey items a year. These are mainly field voles, wood mice, and common shrews. On a good night outside the breeding season, a barn owl will catch four or five tasty rodents.
Historically, the Barn Owl was Britain’s most common owl species, but today only one farm in about 75 can boast a barn owl nest.
Brudenell Estates are proud to support wildlife on the Estate, and we shall enjoy watching the progress of our resident owls.