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25/10/2021

Could you accommodate a barn owl in Offaly?

Could you accommodate a barn owl in Offaly?

Could you accommodate a barn owl in Offaly?

Offaly County Council are looking for people with suitable barns to accommodate nest boxes for barn owls.

This follows a survey carried out during the breeding season by BirdWatch Ireland in partnership with Offaly County Council. The survey was undertaken to understand how this iconic farmland bird is faring in the county.

"We received a lot of information on Barn Owls from farmers and the public throughout the county which greatly assisted the survey, and we are delighted to say that the findings are promising. After decades of declines, we have confirmed more Barn Owl nests throughout Offaly than were ever recorded before, and encouragingly we have recorded Barn Owls breeding in some ruined structures where they previously nested some decades ago but haven’t used for many years," they said.

"We want to build on these positives and help Barn Owls return to other areas in the county and the next step is to provide purpose-built nest boxes in suitable sites and in areas with suitable habitat. This is where you may be able to help.  

"We are currently looking for suitable sites which will stand the best chance of Barn Owls taking up the nest boxes and which offer good foraging opportunities close by.

"In particular we are looking for barns where there is not regular disturbance (especially isolated barns or farm buildings which are infrequently used). If you own such a site and think it would be suitable for a Barn Owl nest box, then we would love to hear from you."

You can send an image of the barn, along with the location and your details by email to jlusby@birdwatchireland.ie 

Only a limited number of nest boxes are available and BirdWatch want to focus on the most suitable sites.

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