In this coming year I will again be working in the Alston Moor area continuing my study of barn owls. Almost certainly due to the past two severe winters there were no breeding attempts at the six sites in this area where birds have bred in the past. Hopefully if the present weather conditions continue and are followed by a reasonable spring, birds will again return to their usual sites and breed.

barn owlIn this coming year I will again be working in the Alston Moor area continuing my study of barn owls. Almost certainly due to the past two severe winters there were no breeding attempts at the six sites in this area where birds have bred in the past. Hopefully if the present weather conditions continue and are followed by a reasonable spring, birds will again return to their usual sites and breed. I have had a report that, at one site, a bird was seen this past autumn on two occasions, so they are around.

In 2011 barn owls had a successful breeding season along the east fell side of the Eden Valley so there is potential for some of the young to have found their way into the Alston Moor area. Surprisingly, last year, the species was more successful on the fell side than in the valley bottom along the River Eden corridor, where many failed to breed. A young bird which was raised at a site on the Moor in 2009 is still breeding successfully in the Eden Valley.

As in the past I would welcome reports of any known breeding sites, whether they are current or historic, plus sightings of barn owls at the present time or leading up to the breeding season which begins about mid April. I appreciate all the assistance and information which I have received in the past and assure you that any information received will be treated in confidence.

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Because the barn owl is a protected species I am licensed by the British Trust for Ornithology to carry out this work. I would like to express my gratitude to The North Pennines AONB for sponsoring my work.

Contact Details:
Dave Mark
Tel: 01768 895113
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.