2 Barn Owl Boxes have recently been installed on the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge by one of our Partners, the Broxton Barn Owl Group, together with TWiG (Tattenhall Wildlife Group).
For Barn Owls to be successful they must have a suitable feeding habitat.
In the past this was often provided in a farmyard where rodents fed on spilled grain, and suitable nest sites were available in barns and outbuildings.
Most recently, however, many barns have been converted to accommodation and grain spillage is a thing of the past.
Nowadays the main source of food is the short tailed field vole which lives in rough grassland.
To this end, installation has taken place at field margins, beside hedgerows, along ditches and around woodland edges — assisting in successful hunting for this majestic bird.
Broxton Barn Owl Group has installed over 300 nest boxes In West Cheshire. In a good year about 15% of the boxes are occupied by breeding Barn Owls.
The boxes are excellent for roosting and shelter which is hugely important since Barn Owls have no waterproofing on the feathers. The boxes also provide habitat for kestrels, other owls etc.
Breeding Barn Owls have declined in recent years — let's hope the installation of these 2 new Barn Owl boxes helps to reverse the trend.
Thanks to our local farmer, a member of the Farmer Network.