CHESHIRE'S barn owls could have been left starving and close to death because the recent high winds and excessive rainfall.

The warning comes from conservationists who are urging residents to keep an eye out for the birds of prey and report any sightings

John Mycock, chairman of the The Mid Cheshire Barn Owl Conservation Group told the Guardian: "The weather during the winter months was relatively kind to our barn owls. It was not too cold, too wet, too windy or with too much snow or frost. Things looked good for the barn owls at the beginning of 2019.

"However, in recent weeks we have suffered high winds and excessive rainfall which causes these birds great difficulties.

"Barn owls are not waterproof like most other birds, so their feathers become waterlogged very quickly.

"Consequently, barn owls will not venture out in wet weather and will, quite literally, starve to death in their nest sites, unable to go hunting for their food ie for voles, shrews, mice, etc.

"We need to know that the barn owls have successfully survived this recent period of wet and windy weather and resident can help by sending in details of any sightings you have of these magnificent birds.

"Any information residents can provide will be greatly appreciated."

Barn owls usually go hunting for food at night. However, due to the weather conditions the birds will now be seeking any opportunity to feed so could be out and about during the daylight hours as well.

If you have seen any of these birds, you call email or text/call 07970 235473.

The Mid Cheshire Barn Owl Conservation Group, which also covers north, south, east and north east Cheshire, is also inviting residents to attend a talk it is hosting on Wednesday,April 17 at the Lion Salt Works, Ollershaw Lane, Marston, Northwich.

The talk will be given by Jimmi Hill, on the subject of 'Monitoring British birds of prey', and will highlight Jimmi’s experiences with several raptor study groups monitoring the likes of peregrines, goshawks, hobbies, tawny owls and more.

Jimmi’s talk will start at 8pm and entry is free.

If you want to learn more about the work of the various barn owl groups in the county, and how you can help and get involved, visit or contact the Mid Cheshire Group on

The group also has facebook and twitter accounts.