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.

Sunday 12 October 2014

Owl population soaring thanks to drainage board’s bird box programme

Thanks to the mild winter and resulting abundance of food species, the 22 nest boxes installed over the boards’ pumping stations produced more than 30 barn owl chicks and several kestrel chicks this year alone.

Two pairs of barn owls even managed to produce two broods of chicks.

The project was launched with five boxes in 2011/12 but proved such a success that the number of boxes was increased to 22 by 2013.

The programme is overseen by Bob Sheppard of the Wildlife Conservation Partnership.

He said: “The Ely nest box scheme is already one of the most successful in the UK and will continue to flourish as the owls find the new boxes.

“This has been an exceptional year across the country and we look forward to next summer when there will be a large population of barn owls in Eastern England.”

Engineer to the boards, Andrew Newton said: “The results will only reinforce the board’s commitment to our biodiversity plan and is proof that when suitable nest boxes are provided, then the barn owl population can flourish.”

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