May 2014: Barn Owl Ringing

A small group of Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers IMG_20140530_190708had the chance to observe Barn Owl chicks being ringed as part of a monitoring programme by Cheshire Barn Owl Group.
 
 
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It was an incredible experience for members as they learned about the importance of ringing to conservation science.
 
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The BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) Ringing Scheme aims to understand what is happening to birds in the places they live and how this affects population increases and decreases, this knowledge is vital for conservation. It also gives information on the movements individual birds make and how long many live for. Individual birds are identified by a small numbered band or ring placed on the birds leg. Anyone can help contribute by looking out for ringed birds and reporting them.

 
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The Cheshire Barn Owl Group are asking for reports of any sightings in the Cheshire area. They would like to hear about any sightings in the last six months (even dead or injured birds). Please report your sightings by email to east@cheshirebarnowls.co.uk . If possible please include an OS map reference along with any information on what the bird was doing.
 
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Group Leader, Tina Hanak, said, “The barn Owl Group does incredible work to secure the future of our local Barn Owls. Identifying potential nesting sites and providing suitable nestboxes is incredibly important as traditional locations for nesting, like old barns, are no longer as available. By reporting recent sightings we can help provide the group with a more accurate picture of current populations so they can concentrate conservation effort where it most needed“.
 
This time last year unseasonably bad weather had a devastating effect on Barn Owl numbers, both locally and nationally. It is hoped that the availability of Barn Owl food sources, mainly small mammals like voles, is improved this year. The chicks that were ringed were a healthy size and well-fed, all positive signs for them to fledge successfully in the coming weeks.

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