May News Bytes 2022

These newsbytes have appeared on our social media sites, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, during the month and have been pulled together here.

Rescue and rehabilitation1

This video on our social media pages (see here on Facebook) shows our Conservation and Science Officer, Mateo, hand-feeding a wild-hatched Tawny Owl. This owlet was found in a pothole in the middle of the road and brought to us. Foxy is so called because they were found near Foxworthy! They have no signs of injury and were probably just on an adventure from the nest. When Tawny Owls are four or five weeks old they start to venture from the nest and the parents deliver food to them wherever they are, unlike Barn Owls.

Foxy is approximately 3 weeks old, and we are trying to find another young Tawny Owl as it is best for them to be raised with others. We haven’t had any luck yet, but we will keep trying. We will keep you updated with Foxy’s progress, but for now they are doing really well. Find out what to do if you find a young wild Tawny Owl here


Wild bird seed crop2

Last week, our Head of Conservation, David Ramsden, ploughed part of the reserve in preparation for scattering the new wild bird crop seed mix. This is the first time we’ve been able to do this ‘in-house’ and is all thanks to a wonderful farmer in Worcestershire who donated this plough to us. Our crop supports large over-wintering bird flocks through the difficult months by providing a food source throughout the winter. You can find out all about our projects here.


Orchids on our reservePicture3

These absolutely stunning flowers are Early Purple Orchids (Orchis mascula). We have a patch of them on our reserve which has been increasing for years, thanks to land management by the Conservation Team. This area is carefully strimmed during the winter to allow the orchids to flourish without the competition of long grass.
If you are interested, we keep a record of our sightings on the reserve in our Wildlife Diary.


Upcoming guided walks on our reserve!Picture4

We are offering a Spring walk in May on Saturday 14th. If you would like to join us, you can find out more information here.





These trees were planted by University of Plymouth Student Union volunteer group! It’s wonderful to see them growing now it’s Spring time! This is part of a wilding project we started last year, where we are allowing our woodland to expand naturally and with a little bit of help…
You can find out all about our reserve here.



 Butterfly WalksPicture6

This Large White butterfly (Pieris brassicae) is feeding on a beautiful dandelion flower (Taraxacum officinale) on our reserve. Managing land for rough grassland benefits so many other species. In July, our reserve is teeming with butterflies and we occasionally offer guided walks with the Conservation Officers. We are holding two Butterfly Walks in July – Friday 8th and Saturday 9th. If you are interested in joining us on any of our walks, have a look at our Events Diary.


 Foxy now has a companion!


Ash was brought to us from Sidmouth by a wonderful volunteer – thank you Bill Bishop! Both Foxy and Ash are eating on their own which means human contact can now be minimised and they can learn to be owls together. They are both doing really well, and we anticipate we will be able to release them in 3-4 months’ time, which is when wild young Tawny Owls begin their dispersal. Find out what to do if you find a wild Tawny Owl.



Bluebells on the LLP

The reserve is looking absolutely stunning at the moment! Although the Lennon Legacy Project (LLP) is mostly kept as rough grassland to support Barn Owl prey populations, we have created an area of winter bird crop, and these bluebells are in our small patch of woodland which surrounds a stream. It truly is idyllic! On our website, you can find out all about how the LLP came to be what it is today.



Butterflies on the reservePicture9

Butterflies are starting to emerge on our reserve now! By early July, our reserve will be absolutely teeming with many different species of butterflies! This is a stunning male Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) that was spotted in amongst the rough grassland last week. Managing rough grassland for Barn Owls benefits a huge number of other species. You can find out more about the Common Blue on the Butterfly Conservation website.



Foxy and Ash update 17th May Picture10

Foxy and Ash have just been moved out into an aviary! Ash often seems to look to Foxy for reassurance and they huddle together whenever they are unsure of anything! Although it is always best for owlets to stay in the wild where possible, it is really good for these two to be growing up together. Learn about identifying young owls!



Foxy and Ash update 20th MayPicture11

Foxy and Ash are doing really well out in their aviary! They are enjoying having the extra space to move and are building their muscles by climbing around the place! This is a really important stage of their development. Find out more about Tawny Owls here.





School talks!Picture12

Recently our Conservation and Science Officer Mateo gave a talk at Harbertonford Church of England Primary School. The children loved meeting our special owl ambassador ‘Baley’ and thoroughly enjoyed conducting some pellet analysis too. For more information on school talks, have a look at our Barn Owl talks for schools and young people webpage .






Do you have a BOT donation box? Or would you like one? Let us know!


Donation boxes are so important to us at the Barn Owl Trust and we are appreciative of any amount that is kindly given. However, we need your help. The last couple of years our boxes may have been put away, forgotten about or are now full and need emptying. We would like to ask that if anyone has a donation box and has not been contacted recently, please could you get in touch with us and we will arrange for it to be emptied and/or replaced. Alternatively, if you have seen a box anywhere, please could you let us know where, so that we can retrieve it. If you would like a donation box at your premises, please get in touch with us and we will get one to you. Many thanks to those that display the boxes and everyone that donates, we appreciate every single penny.


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