... bird news from Montgomeryshire, Wales ...
That's awesome! I'm impressed it was captured with a phone. I have had only rare sightings of Barn Owls in the county and they have been in the Dolydd Hafren/Forden area, mainly when driving at night. With regards to the scarcity, is this due to a lack of hunting grounds for them? When I go walking in the fields around Montgomery, the most striking thing is the lack of the "wild edges" around fields, its either purely grass or crops right up to the hedges. Or are there other factors as to why we don't get so many?
There is no doubt that the loss of suitable hunting habitat reduces the population, as does a shortage of suitable nest sites (old hollow trees or barns)e.g. The Montgomeryshire Barn Owl Group has directly increased the Barn Owl population in the county by providing and monitoring boxes for the birds. But Barn Owl numbers are also constrained in Montgomeryshire by the extremes of Welsh weather - particularly prolonged wet spells (they can't hunt in the rain) and snow - Barn Owl were all but wiped out in the county a few years back when we had 18" late March.
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