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The Barn Owl Trust

Conserving the Barn Owl and its Environment

Watch us on Youtube Follow us on Twitter Join us on Facebook Live Barnowl webcam direct from a barnowl nestbox at our Owl Sanctuary

About the Barn Owl

FAQ - Frequently asked questions


Owl questions

Found an owl?

I've found an injured/unwell owl, what should I do? click here

I've found a young (nestling/fledgling) owl, what should I do? click here

I've found a young (nestling/fledgling) Barn Owl, what should I do? click here

I've found a young (nestling/fledgling) Tawny Owl, what should I do? click here

I've found an owl and I just want someone or somewhere to take it click here

I can't find anyone to take the owl I have found, can I assess it and care for it myself? click here

I've found a ringed owl, and/or I have found a dead owl, what should I do? click here

Seen one around?

I've seen a wild Barn Owl, who should I report it to?

In Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, please report it us click here
Elsewhere, report it to your Local Environmental Records Centre click here

Can I feed wild Barn Owls? click here

Encouraging them

I want to encourage wild Barn Owls. Will someone come and see if my site is suitable?
BOT covers Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, and bordering parts of Somerset. Some visits are free depending on the circumstances. Elsewhere we will try to put you in touch with an independent Barn Owl worker. click here

How much good foraging habitat do Barn Owls need?
In mainly arable (cultivated) landscapes click here
In mainly pastoral (grassland) landscapes click here
In mixed landscapes click here

Do I live in a good area for Barn Owls? click here

Where can I buy or sell a captive-bred Barn Owl?
The Barn Owl Trust does not buy or sell Barn Owls. Try Cage & Aviary Birds magazine. For relevant information click here


Where can I obtain wild Barn Owl pellets?
We can usually supply limited numbers to Schools and youth groups in return for donation. contact us
Or, you can purchase a Pellet Dissection Pack with a pellet in it. click here


Nestbox questions

Which is best, a nestbox in a building, in a tree, on a pole? click here

Where can I get information on building and erecting a Barn Owl nestbox? click here

Where can I buy a ready-made Barn Owl nestbox? click here

I already have a Barn Owl nestbox. Where and how should I put it up? click here

A baby Barn Owl fell out of my nestbox (or just disappeared). How can I prevent this happening again? If your nestbox is at least 460mm (18") deep (measured from the bottom of the entrance hole to the nestbox floor) then the owlets are probably falling out because the box needs emptying (to restore its internal depth). If your nestbox is not this deep then you need to replace it with a nestbox that meets current design criteria. click here

NOTE: Disturbance of breeding birds must be avoided. The best time to replace a nestbox is November/December/January.

I put up a Barn Owl nestbox some time ago. When can I expect a Barn Owl to use it?
Some boxes are occupied quickly and others never used. Maximise the chances by:
Choosing the best site for the box (in building, on tree, on pole), click here
Choosing a well-designed box. click here
Choosing the best position for it. click here
Improving the owls food supply (by habitat improvement). click here


Planning/Development questions

I am concerned about a wind turbine/wind farm planning application (or an existing one). Will it affect our local Barn Owls? click here

An old barn (or other potential roost/nest site) is due for conversion or demolition. Will it affect our local Barn Owls? click here

I see a Barn Owl hunting over land earmaked for development. Will the presence of Barn Owl(s) prevent the development? No. Barn Owl foraging habitat has no protection per se. However, Planning Authorities have a legal duty to consider impacts on biodiversity (NERC Act 2006) and can require mitigation as part of planning consent (eg. a Section 106 agreement). To read the Planners Guide (Natural England's Standing Advice) click here. For a description of optimum foraging habitat click here. For information on managing land for Barn Owls click here.

I need a wildlife survey carried out for a planning application. Does the Barn Owl Trust provide bat and Barn Owl surveys? Normally, the cheapest option is to choose a surveyor who can survey all species. The BOT only surveys for Barn Owls but we can usually recommend a wildlife surveyor (Ecological Consultant) in your area who has been trained (by us) to survey for Barn Owls. Please contact us

I am required to make provision for Barn Owls by a condition attached to our planning consent. What do I need to do? The Planners Guide contains an explanatory section entitled Applicants Handout (see pages 28-32) and another called Making Provision for Barn Owls (see pages 34-51). click here

PLEASE NOTE - There is a huge amount of information of Barn Owls and planning issues in the Barn Owl Conservation Handbook


Visiting, training and volunteering questions

Can the Barn Owl Trust visit our school?
Our school visits (including the appearance of a tame untethered captive-bred Barn Owl) are mainly in Devon, east Cornwall, west Dorset, and west Somerset. click here
Our educational DVD, Schools Pack CD, and on-line educational resources are relevant across the UK. click here

Can the Barn Owl Trust provide a speaker for one of our group meetings?
Talks to adult groups are mainly in SW England. click here

Can I volunteer for the Barn Owl Trust?
Opportunities for volunteering are mainly at the Trusts base near Ashburton in Devon. However in 2013-Devon and 2014-Cornwall we will be using volunteers to help with county-wide Barn Owl surveys. For more information please contact us

Can we visit the Barn Owl Trust? The Barn Owl Trust does not operate a visitor centre. For details of guided walk events at the Barn Owl Trust (visiting the LLP, near Ashburton in Devon) click here

I'm interested in booking a place on one of the Barn Owl Trust's training courses, where can I find information about them? click here

The Barn Owl Trust is dedicated to conservation & education and does not operate a visitor centre.
Barn Owl Trust staff and volunteers
Waterleat, Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7HU
+44 (0) 1364 653026