10:00am Tuesday 25th February 2014
By Alex Bysouth
MID Cheshire Barn Owl Conservation Group is calling on anyone who has spotted one of the birds to get in touch.
The number of barn owls in Cheshire has steadily increased over the past decade, with breeding pairs increasing from 10 in 2000 to 225 in 2012.
However, low levels of barn owl prey, vole and shrew, breeding cycles and the poor British weather all contributed to 2013 being a disastrous year and only 30 breeding pairs being recorded.
The conservation group was hoping for a good turn around in 2014, but incessant wind and rain has not left the situation looking too promising.
“The start of the year has not been very auspicious,” said John Mycock.
“Barn owls are not water-proof, like almost all other native birds, therefore their survival and ability to hunt for food depends greatly upon favourable weather conditions.
“Otherwise they will just sit in their roost holes or boxes and quietly starve to death.”
Cheshire has, at least, not suffered as badly as other parts of the UK.
“How birds in the flooded areas of Somerset and the like will survive poses a very serious problem,” added John.
“But we need your help to see just how last year’s poor results and this year’s weather has affected them. We need to know if and where barn owls have been seen.”
If anyone knows the location of any barn owls, or has seen any recently, they are asked to contact John on 07970-235473.
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