This week the Gamekeepers on Hawnby Estate located a Tawny Owl nest, which had one chick, they then got in touch to get the chick ringed. The Bird ringer is Jeff Myres, he has lots of bird boxes both on Hawnby and Snilesworth estates. Gamekeeper John went with Jeff to show him where the Tawny Owl nest was and on the way they also spotted two nests of Blue Tits and one nest of Redstarts.
The Tawny Owl is a similar size to a pigeon, it has a rounded body and head, with a ring of dark feathers around its face surrounding its dark eyes, it is mainly reddish brown above and paler underneath. It is a widespread breeding species in England, Wales and Scotland but not found in Ireland. Birds are mainly residents with established pairs probably never leaving their territories. Young birds disperse from breeding grounds in autumn. The Tawny Owl has amber status showing that the species has an unfavourable conservation status in Europe and there are actually only up to 300 breeding pairs in the UK.
Bird Ringing aims to monitor survival rates of birds and collect information about their movements, this information then provides vital support for conservation efforts as it helps to understand how these processes influence population sizes over time. Identifying the mechanisms is the first step in reversing declines.
The Blue Tit is a very easy recognisable bird with its mix of blue, yellow, white and green, it is a green status bird meaning that it is a species that occurs regularly in the UK.
The Redstart is identifiable by their bright orange-red tails, which they often quiver, the breeding males look smart, with slate grey upper parts, black faces and wings, and an orange rump and chest whereas the females and young are duller. Redstarts ‘bob’ in a very robin-like manner, but spend very little time at ground level. Like the Tawny Owl the Redstart has amber status.