Birds of Prey Ringing

Tuesday 12th July 2016

Barn Owl Chicks

During the breeding season Essex Wildlife Trust, working with qualified experts from British Trust for Ornithology, rings the young of several birds of prey species that are nesting on our nature reserves. Recently we have ringed Kestrel, Buzzard and Barn Owl - and taken pictures of the various youngsters.

At Abbotts Hall Farm, site of our main offices, we were delighted to find two pairs of breeding kestrels, each with four chicks. Two Barn Owl boxes were occupied: one with two chicks and the other with two very young chicks and two eggs still to hatch. Pictured during the ringing process are one of the larger Barn Owl chick and one of the 8 Kestrels. The latter and its siblings were very close to fledging. The BTO will return later in the summer to ring the birds in the second Barn Owl nest.

At Blue House Farm, we ringed the two chicks in our 'live webcam' nest. There is one other Barn Owl nest occupied on the farm.

We were very excited to ring two Buzzard chicks at our Fingringhoe Wick nature reserve. While Buzzards are now a fairly common sight in Essex, with numerous breeding pairs, just 15 years ago there were an exceptionally rare breeding bird in the county. Four Kestrel chicks were also ringed at Fingringhoe.

We will continue to ring birds with the BTO over the summer, especially a number of nests that are part of our Essex Barn Owl Conservation Project.

Bird ringing aims to monitor survival rates of birds and collect information about their movements, which provides vital support for conservation efforts, especially when repeated over time. Ringing birds in nests also, naturally, contributes to recording breeding and breeding patterns.