As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Yorkshire's hatched barn owl eggs spark recovery hopes

7 May 2014 Last updated at 18:17

Two out of six barn owl eggs laid in a nest box in North Yorkshire have hatched sparking hopes of a population recovery.

Wildlife conservationist Robert Fuller, from Thixendale, put up 10 nest boxes in the area last year to help the birds survive and breed.

A clutch of six barn owl eggs were laid by a breeding pair last month.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust warned that recent harsh winters had left the barn owl numbers "at an all time low".

Mr Fuller, who has put up a total of 150 nest boxes over the last five years, is monitoring the remaining four eggs, which he expects to hatch in the next few days.

The Trust, which is running a campaign to save barn owls, said the number of breeding pairs in the UK was estimated to be 4,000 in the mid 2000s. Last year it dropped to 1,000.

The charity said the barn owl population had been in decline since World War Two due to the loss of habitat and nest sites, but the recent "run of bad winters, and the prolonged snow of March 2013 had left the UK's population of barn owls at the lowest it has ever been".

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