Barn owl report 2017

The “State of the UK Barn Owl Population 2017” report is out. Using data from 38 independent barn owl monitoring groups at almost 7000 sites, the report reveals that, although the population numbers were mixed across the UK, the average numbers were up by 17%, compared to 2013-2016 records. Read the report here.

Barn Owl Facts:

  • A barn owl’s winter home range can be up to 5000 ha, shrinking to 350 ha in the summer months as food becomes more easily available.
  • A typical barn owl life span is 4 years, but the record is 15 years.
  • Approximately 70 % of barn owl fledglings will die in their first year.
  • Works that are likely to cause disturbance to nesting barn owls requires a licence.

Barn Owls are protected under wildlife legislation in the UK. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Part 1 Section 1 (1)) states it is an offence to

  1. Kill, injure or take any wild bird.
  2. Take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built.
  3. Take or destroy an egg of any wild bird.

Barn owls are also listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This lists bird species that are afforded higher protection. There can be a hefty fine or even imprisonment for any offence involving a barn owl, its nest, or egg. The law means that barn owl nesting sites are also afforded some protection.

To find out more about barn owls, look at the Barn Owl Trust’s website.

Fact sources: Barn Owl Trust.

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