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Trio of barn owl chicks hatched

Posted on 22 Jul 2019

Three female owlets hatched out at Arundel Wetland Centre this spring. The existence of the trio were just confirmed on an expedition to the owl boxes on the Wetland Discovery are by Reserve Manager Paul Stevens and Warden Suzi Lanaway with owl ringers Stuart Card and Jake Everitt, who Countryside Wardens at Warnham Nature Reserve in Horsham. Barn owls are a Schedule One birds and are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act.

In the nest box, Stuart and Jake discovered three female owlets about 47 days old, and almost ready to fledge. This trio will soon begin branching, taking short hops to clamber around on nearby trees. This is the second year barn owls chicks have been recorded at Arundel Wetland Centre. Infra red footage from the Bushnell cameras showed adult owls bringing prey to the nest so Paul Stevens figured the owls were rearing young again.The owls often roost in the Lapwing hide while hunting at night.

Reserve staff put up this owl nest box 6 years ago on an island in our Wetlands Discovery area and put in a second owl box three years ago, 100 feet away from the first. This second box was for the adults to roost in case the owls breed – growing chicks tend to crowd the adults out of the nest.

Barn owls roost and hunt on the reserve in most winters. Two years ago we had an owl pair here in spring but no sign of any young.