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Barn Owl Page
Updated 20th August 2008


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28/08/09 A concerted effort by our Conservation Officer Mick Clay has seen 5 new Barn Owl boxes erected in recent years. In July & August the group erected four of these in barns in trees within the square. They are of sturdy construction (as the guys who hoisted them up the ladders will vouch) so should last many years and hopefully prove successful.

The first two boxes were erected in barns on farms within the square, out thanks to the farmers for allowing us to put these up on their land away from prying eyes. Thanks to Alan Bradford for not only making the boxes, for for a sterling job on climbing trees/ barns and securing them with all manner of nails, screws, batons and brackets. Pictured below left-Alan Bradford looking as happy as Squirrel in nut factory.

Alan ready to move inBox no. 3













The fourth box was in a tree in a field with a deceptive ditched hedge that was harder to cross than first thought. But we overcame! Pictured below Geoff Facer and his Firemans impression while John Gallagher looks on! How many men does it take to erect a nest box? Well in our case six! two up the ladder, Alan Bradford pretending to be a squirrel and three on the ground offering moral support/ supervising!!

Box no.4Fireman Geoff Facer













25/08/08 Another excellent year in SK58 for Barn owls, with several more pairs successfully rearing young, although not as good as 2007, which was exceptional. Images below © Janet Allsop and Clive Gretton.

Barn Owl August 2008 J Allsop & C Gretton

Barn Owl August 2008 J Allsop & C Gretton

Barn Owl August 2008 J Allsop & C Gretton

Barn Owl August 2008 J Allsop & C Gretton

13/08/07 We can confirm today, that we have a THIRD pair of Barn Owls in SK58, which have successfully raised a family. It must 30+ years since we had this level of Barn Owl activity in the square.

20/07/07 We can confirm we have 2 pairs of Barn Owls feeding young in the square.

10/07/07 A pair of Barn Owls hunting, and observed carrying prey to a disused building in the square-clearly breeding success. This is a second pair, and not the same as another pair within SK58.

18/06/07 The pair that nested in the square last year have returned again, and appear to be nesting. Interestingly a young Barn Owl flew in from the SE towards the box, circled then flew N, it returned about 10 minutes later and headed off back SE, the bird was calling all the time. We have also heard of a pair to the E of SK58-it appears there could be as many as 3 pairs in the square. Owls in general seem to be doing pretty well at the moment.

09/03/07 After being absent all winter, a single bird has returned to last years successful nest box.

18/09/06 Our Barn Owls have successfully fledged x3 young at a site within the square. The adults remain very elusive, although the juv's often perch near the nesting box.

20/07/06 The Barn Owl young (3 of them) continue to be heard from the nest box, although the adults remain very elusive, seen very irregularly. The young should fledge soon?

21/06/06 It's been very quiet for Barn Owls within SK58 for a couple of years. It's thought all the released birds from 2001 failed. Although we have been monitoring a pair of Barn Owls, in a man made box for a couple of months, and we can confirm they have bred. Although we are unsure as to where the parent birds came from. It's unlikely they are birds from the 2001 release.

13/06/04 We have received information on two of our released Barn Owls, unfortunately it's not good. One was found long dead at Tickhill, and the other taken into care at Worksop (no further details)-thanks to Harry Vilkaitis for this update.

26/11/02 A confirmed report of a singleton over Swinston Hill, near Woodsetts. It's good to note that some are still alive from the release 18 months ago.

14/09/02 Several confirmed sightings recently from Rackford Road gave a glimmer of hope that some of the released birds are alive. Amazingly recorded a year to the day.

04/03/02 A couple of rumoured sightings during the winter, but nothing definite until now. A Barn Owl was seen and heard on Sunday. A Woodsetts resident was startled when he opended his curtains to see a bird perched on his fence, which backs on to Brands Lane. A member went out that night and heard one screeching! Whether this is a transient bird, or a release bird, we are unsure. We will have to observe the bird in the daylight or catch it in a powerful beam of light to see if it carrys any rings.

14/09/01 A month to the day and a singleton was observed flying around Little Stones Wood, a few hundred yards from the previous sighting a month before. A singleton, possibly the same bird; has returned at least once to the Butterfly House to take advantage of the free food.

14/08/01 Two group members went looking for the released owls and found 1 possibly 2 of them hunting in the distance, near Anston Stones Wood. Previously the group had heard that one of the seven birds released had been hit by a car soon after release. And that only a single bird had been seen returning to the Butterfly House, where food has been put out for them daily.

10/08/01 Article in Dinnington & Maltby Trader

clip from local paper

28/07/01 The owls were rung prior to release into their new home at the Butterfly House

Application of unique numbered BTO ring

Attaching a small metal BTO ring, and afterwards with no ill effects

.....with no ill effects

Ring attached to Barn Owl Attaching a BTO ring using special rings and pliers

Stage 1 of the release programme, introducing the birds to their new home and Harry Vilkaitis with a friend

!st stage release into new home Butterfly House staff introducing owls to their new home

Harry Vilkaitis and Barn Owl prior to release


A group focused on recording the bird life of a single 10km square between Sheffield, Rotherham & Worksop

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