Another early bird: tawny owl chick is thought to be the first in Britain to be recorded and ringed

On Friday we told how our falcons’ first egg – we now have three by the way – was believed to be the first peregrine egg this year to be laid in a monitored nest in the UK.

Tawny Owl chicks (library picture)

Tawny Owl chicks (library picture)

Not to be outdone, it now appears that a tawny owl chick found in a nest box at our Brackenhurst campus could be the first to be recorded and ringed in Britain this year – and is one of the earliest recorded in the last 40 years.

The recent mild weather could be the reason for the early arrival and may have been responsible for causing the adults to nest early.

Staff found the chick, along with its mother, in a nest box made by wildlife conservation students at the campus, which is home to our School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences. A former student, who also works for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) ringed the chick under the supervision of Jim Lennon from the South Notts Ringing Group, which is part of the British Trust for Ornithology.

The chicks usually stay in the nest box for about four weeks and this one is expected to fledge the box any day.

Our Brackenhurst campus, near Southwell, is thought to be home to several pairs of adult tawny owls, which are non-migratory and so remain there all year round. Tawny owls – which are nocturnal birds of prey and mainly hunt rodents and small birds – live for about five years in the wild and are largely monogamous.

Dr Louise Gentle, the wildlife conservation programme leader, said that she was delighted with the new arrival and that it had been causing quite a stir over at Brackenhurst.

She said: “We created the nest box because there is a lack of natural breeding sites and are absolutely thrilled that the idea paid off. We really hope it is a sign of things to come and that we’ll be able to welcome more tawny owl chicks to the campus in the coming years.”

Dave Rogers
Nottingham Trent University

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8 Responses to Another early bird: tawny owl chick is thought to be the first in Britain to be recorded and ringed

  1. Clare says:

    I really love how NTU has got so involved in the protection of these wonderful birds! Hooray for tawny owls and peregrine falcons! 🙂


  2. Ann Amos says:

    It was lovely to see both the falcons this morning when they did a swap for sitting on the eggs and how thrilling to notice that there are now three eggs!! This watching the birds is quite addictive……


  3. Tony Fagan says:

    Great pictures and addictive viewing. Can anyone identify the two gold-coloured rings that are visible near the sitting bird? Not noticed them before; have they come from the legs of prey?


  4. Karen says:

    I spy 4 eggs!


  5. George Cross says:

    Vicious killers of countless racing pigeons, they belong on cliff ledges and not in nest boxes put up town centres.


  6. Homepage says:

    I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever
    work and exposure! Keep up the great works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my personal blogroll.


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