Barn Owl and Kestrel monitoring, Hertfordshire
We work in close partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Partnership (WCP) which monitors company land for the presence of Barn Owls, Kestrels, Tawny Owls and Little Owls. We now have 70 nest boxes on 42 land holdings across our Colne, Lee, Misbourne and Pinn Communities. Each nest box is inspected annually and the bird presence recorded.
Barn Owls use nesting sites ranging from tree cavities to rock ledges, but it is estimated that up to 80 per cent of the population now live in man-made boxes. In 2015, Barn Owls were found in seven boxes. Eight boxes were confirmed as being used by Kestrels. In addition, Jackdaw and Stock Dove were also found nesting. This means that 41% of all boxes were occupied, with 24% by target species.
Although both Barn Owls and Kestrels are widely distributed across the UK, in recent decades their numbers have declined dramatically, largely because of the intensification of agriculture. By providing additional nesting sites on our sites, we are helping to prevent a further decline in species numbers.
Barn Owls (left) and young Kestrels at our site (Photos courtesy of Colin Shawyer, Wildlife Conservation Partnership)