Tawny Owl Chick Ringing

A massive thank you to Geoff Myers (Bird Ringer) who sent us through this article.


A telephone call earlier in the week from Mike Wilkinson, gamekeeper from Bilsdale, made me head off to Snilesworth to a site just off the edge of the moor to where he had found a Tawny Owl nest with one chick in a very old birch tree. It was actually a site I knew but which, after three blank years, I had not bothered to check this year. I had monitored the nest and ringed chicks for six consecutive years from 2008 to 2013. Thanks Mike for getting me there again and well spotted.

I met John and we went to the nest and ringed one very healthy looking chick. On the way back to the car John checked the nest boxes in the wood for me and we found a Redstart incubating six eggs. Sadly there are no longer Pied Flycatchers in this wood, due to the rapidly declining national population no doubt.

In another wood at the opposite end of the valley a Tawny Owl was not so lucky. On checking the nest box earlier in the season I found it full of sticks and other debris courtesy of Jackdaws. It was full to the top but no nest. After emptying the sticks from the box, never an easy task, in the bottom I found two Tawny Owl eggs. The owl had obviously been incubating when the Jackdaws began work and no doubt had to make a quick exit. Although instances like this are rare it is the second time it has happened in this box. I have read of instances when owls have been wedged in by Jackdaw sticks and died although that has not happened in any of my boxes.

Geoff Myers 20th May 2017