Nestcam Diary 2016

To see our Barn Owl webcams please go to WildlifeTV and click the Barn Owl photo for Barncam or Nestcam. Wildlife TV kindly provides the cameras and images free to the Trust.

December 2016

19th – some  activity over the weekend, seemingly by two birds, one ringed, the other unringed. However, there are no birds roosting in the box or the barn today.

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and peaceful mid-winter, however you choose to spend it, and good owling in 2017, from all of us here at the Barn Owl Trust.

12th – electrical works by Western Power resulted in the loss of live streaming over the weekend, but both cameras have been reinstated now. Still lots of activity after dark.

Barncam Screenshot 9th December 20168th – very little action during daylight hours with no roosting birds in either the nestbox or the barn. However, both birds have been seen after dark with quite a lot of vocalisation, which is somewhat unusual.

5th – there definitely is an unringed Barn Owl still at large as it was seen at 7.05am and again at 5.15pm on the 2nd in the barn via Barncam. No birds visible today up to 3.25pm though.

2nd – let’s just say it was . . . emotional! Had to change the power adapter (faulty) and the camera (faulty), and that seems to have done the trick, at least for now. The female didn’t budge throughout.

November 2016

28th – the female is still in the box this morning, though there appears to have been no sign of the male since Saturday 26th.

We’re hoping to try to fix Barncam on Friday 2nd December, which will inevitably result in some down time to Nestcam too, for which our (usual) apologies.

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 14th November 201614th – after being off-line for several weeks, we finally managed to get Nestcam back up and running this morning. What a lovely surprise to find a pair of Barn Owls in the nestbox, roosting and canoodling at times. One of the birds appears to be ringed and so is presumably the resident female.

October 2016

5th – no reports of any birds in the nestbox in the last couple of weeks.

For your interest, £140 was donated towards reinstating Barncam – many thanks to all those who contributed. Our intention is to visit the site during our winter fieldwork and try to get Barncam up and running, hopefully before Christmas.

We are, as always, very grateful to WildlifeTV for supplying all necessary hardware. However, camera/computer maintenance and trouble-shooting does fall to Barn Owl Trust staff, and with the site over an hour’s drive away from BOT HQ, it takes at least half a day per visit, even when the maintenance is relatively straightforward. Your patience is appreciated.

September 2016

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 19th September 201619th – with no reports for over a week it looks like Owlet 2 has definitely dispersed, and the parents are elsewhere within their comparatively huge home range.

12th – no reports over the weekend would appear to indicate Owlet 2 may have finally dispersed, which at nearly 16 weeks of age, is about time.

8th – no sightings for a couple of days from what we’ve seen.

2nd – there is a ringed Barn Owl on the tray of the box this lunchtime.

August 2016

31st – an owl sitting on the tray of the box at 8.30am this morning was presumably Owlet 2, not yet dispersed, though at over 15 weeks of age she should be going shortly. Earlier on this morning in the small hours, a very pale, unringed male put in an appearance. Whether it was the male of the pair or a recently arrived bird is a mystery but the interest he took in the inside of the box, including some exaggerated head movements, tends to suggest he’s a newcomer.

25th – a Barn Owl is at roost in the nestbox this morning.

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 23rd August 201623rd – a ringed owl (left leg) is roosting in the nestbox this morning so probably an owlet or the adult female from this site.

22nd – an initially empty nestbox again this morning until an owl entered briefly before roosting on the tray. There was also some activity on the tray over the weekend but not sure if it was one of our owlets, one of the adults or another bird entirely.

18th – empty nestbox this morning.

16th – Owlet 2 still appears to be making visits overnight but isn’t roosting in the nestbox this morning.

11th – Owlet 2 is still about and standing on the tray this morning. A food cache of at least 4 small mammals is on the right hand side of the nestbox.

9th – Owlet 2 still appears to be about and currently investigating one of the four small mammals cached in the nestbox today.

1st – reports have been received of lots of food deliveries to Owlet 2 over the past couple of nights (thanks Sandra).

July 2016

29th – the nestbox is empty this afternoon, though Owlet 2 is still around and has been popping back in occasionally.

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 26th July 201626th – although only Owlet 2 has been visible roosting in the nestbox over recent days, Owlet 1 apparently put in an appearance on the tray by the access hole last night. Both birds are looking in fantastic condition.

20th – only one owlet appears to be in the nestbox today although at 9 and a half weeks of age the eldest could easily be roosting on the beams in the barn.

15th – maintenance work – replaced Barncam camera – made no difference. Tried to replace Barncam capture card in on-site PC – not possible. Installed updates – made no difference. So, sadly Barncam is still not working. Sorry folks. Checked condition of owlets – both doing well. Adjusted zoom and angle of Nestcam to improve view and removed cobwebs.

14th – both owlets are still in the nestbox this morning, with at least 2 cached small mammals.

12th – with Owlet 2 safely back in the nestbox courtesy of the landowner late afternoon yesterday, food deliveries resumed overnight and this morning there are at least 2 cached small mammals, one of which appears to be keeping Owlet 2’s toes warm!

11th – Owlet 2 apparently managed to get out of the nestbox for the first time last night. However, after concerns were raised that it hadn’t been seen back in the box since, and after a phone call or two, it now appears to be on the floor of the barn seemingly unhurt so will be put back in the nestbox as soon as possible later on today.
What to do if you find a young Barn Owl.

8th – the owlets are being very active and we can see that the oldest one is jumping at the entrance hole.

June 2016

28th – the ringing visit revealed two very healthy, heavy owlets, both of which were female;

Owlet 1, ring number FB40453, weight 441gms, wing 213mm
Owlet 2, ring number FB40452, weight 350gms, wing 181mm

Unfortunately we couldn’t get Barncam back up and running despite our best efforts but we’re hoping to replace the existing camera with another one in the next couple of weeks if we can afford it and/or sort out what to do.

21st – multiple food drops were apparently recorded overnight.

20th – we appear to have a problem with Barncam. Hopefully this is simply a loose connection that can be rectified when we visit to ring the owlets in the next couple of weeks.

17th – a food cache of two small mammals was in the nestbox first thing but had disappeared by 8.50am

16th – Mum removed the owlet body from the nest overnight. It seems there were around 5 prey drops due to the poor weather last night so hopefully mum and dad can keep up the hard work for tonight. The weather for the next few nights is looking good so hopefully we will see lots of prey drops.

14th – sad news to report this morning as the youngest owlet has died overnight. This is probably as a result of lack of food. On the bright side, the remaining two owlets now have a much better chance of surviving.

10th – our three owlets are all snuggled up in the corner today, trying to keep warm, and even Mum is in the box. Hopefully, despite the weather, our family will be getting enough food tonight.

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8th – while Nestcam was down yesterday, the youngest chick died. The oldest chick is lying down, probably a result of the warm weather we’ve been experiencing. It is not dead as it can be seen breathing if you look closely. The female has been in and out of the box today, and can be seen on Barncam on one of the beams. We will continue to closely monitor Nestcam throughout the day.

6th – there are still 4 owlets in the nest with the female roosting just outside now.

3rd – still 4 owlets with the female this morning.

May 2016

30th – the female is in attendance today and it appears she now has four young. Her absence yesterday remains a mystery. Perhaps she is a first-time breeder and simply made a mistake. Sadly, some nestling mortality is always to be expected. At around 4-7 weeks old the average brood size is 2.84. more information. Survival is largely determined by food supply which in turn is determined by the amount of good foraging habitat and the weather. more information

29th – it has been reported that the young have been left uncovered since 02.47 and the female is not on her usual roost perch. Nestlings are normally left uncovered when the eldest is 3 weeks old rather than 2 weeks. Some viewers have claimed that they are dying but five young have been seen alive this afternoon. The ambient temperature is high and there is currently little danger of them becoming chilled. At the time of writing (15.30) they sound and look well. Hopefully they will be fed and brooded as normal tonight. It is possible that something has happened to one or both of the adults so we are monitoring the situation. Female back in the nestbox with the young by 20:40.

27th – Egg 6 hatched early this morning, and the chick first seen at 2.51am this morning.

26th – only one egg now visible, there has been a lot of play fighting among the older chicks and there was a clear prey cache this morning.

23rd – still only 4 owlets in the box today. Egg 5 should be hatching soon. Evening update: the first eggshell from Egg 5 was seen at 7.30pm.

20th – based on reports we have been receiving, Egg 4 hatched at around 10pm.

Owlets19th – we have finally confirmed that Egg 3 has hatched. Based on a 32-day average incubation period, and an estimated lay date of 19th April, we are expecting to see owlet number 4 any time from now.

18th – we think Egg 3 might have hatched this morning at around 11am although we’ve been struggling to get absolutely conclusive views since.

17th – small mammal cached in the nestbox this morning.

16th – Egg 2 appears to have hatched at or before 09:46 this morning.

14th – Egg 1 appears to have hatched at or before 02:00 this morning.

12th – despite some evidence of aggression on the female’s part towards the male, everything still seems to be going according to plan. The first egg was noticed on the 12th April, so working on an average 32 day incubation period (31-33 days), that first egg should hatch on the 14th (Saturday) although it may be a day either side of that. Eyes peeled . . .

9th – as you were! Female still incubating dutifully with the male often in attendance looking on.

5th – things look to be progressing as expected. Food is being brought in and the eggs are being turned. Egg 1 is due to hatch on or around the 14th of this month, assuming we were pretty accurate with the lay date and it’s a 32-day incubation. The eggs should then hatch at 2-3 day intervals.

3rd – female still incubating this morning. Unfortunately, Barncam also appears to have developed a fault, albeit intermittent as it’s working this morning.

April 2016

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 29th April 201629th – loose plug. Doh! It took a trip to Cornwall but now all working properly. Looks very much like she stopped at 6 eggs so fortunately we haven’t missed much.

27th – having taken advice we now think it’s either a loose connection or a capture (graphics) card problem. We’ve checked for a loose connection at the streaming computer and drawn a blank so we’re down to a loose connection in the currently out-of-bounds barn or the capture card. Suffice to say we’re working on it and should have a definitive answer for you by Friday. If anyone has any genuinely insightful suggestions or informed observations we’d be happy to hear from you via Thank you.

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 28th April 201626th – we appear to be experiencing technical difficulties with Nestcam currently. Not sure what the problem is but we’re taking advice and are trying hard to rectify the problem. Apologies for the downtime.

25th – Egg 6 was laid overnight and seen for the first time this morning. The female is happily incubating although there don’t appear to be any cached food items. The sixth egg is great news, considering the mean clutch size is five, especially given that the nights have been quite cold, and we may even get more as copulation is still happening.

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 22nd April 201622nd – apparently Egg 5 was first seen at about 4.00am this morning. Copulation occurred around 12.35pm this lunchtime but whether this will result in a sixth egg is anyone’s guess. If so, and if she continues with the approximate 2.5 day laying interval of the previous eggs, it should be later on Sunday afternoon, 24th.

21st – both birds are in the nestbox this morning. No small mammals cached as far as can be seen.

20th – not sure when she laid but there were 4 eggs when the female got up to swallow whole one of the 2 cached small mammals at about 9am this morning. Actually, just seen a Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 20th April 2016comment posted on another forum saying Egg 4 was first seen at just after 7pm last night.

19th – still 3 eggs this morning, and a food cache of at least 3 small mammals on the left hand side of the box. Egg 4, if it comes, is due sometime in the next 24 hours.

18th – the male is in the nestbox this morning with the incubating female.

17th – Egg 3 was laid at about 11.15am this morning.

15th – our webcams are back up and running, just in time to see Egg 2, which was laid Screen Shot 2nd Eggthis morning. We haven’t seen the male yet today, but think he may be out hunting after last night’s rain.

14th – our apologies, we are currently undergoing essential maintenance updates at the site’s computer which appears to be taking quite a long time. We’ll get the streams back up and running as soon as possible.

Earlier there were at least 3 cached small mammals around the incubating female this morning.

12th – with both birds in the nestbox/barn most days at the moment we’ve decided it’s probably safer not to risk visiting to try to fix the after-dark view of Nestcam so it looks like daylight viewing is the way to go for the time being.

Well, what a good call. Various reports received overnight describe intermittent problems with the IR lamp AND Egg 1, which appears to have been laid at approximately 6.30pm.

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 8th April 20168th – pair in the nestbox all day today.

5th – still a pair in the nestbox this morning. Be warned, we may have some camera issues after dark, for which we apologise in advance. At this late stage we may not be able to fix the camera if the IR is faulty without upsetting the birds, which we clearly wouldn’t want to do. Hopefully we won’t have an issue tonight . . .

March 2016

16th – the pair has been in the nestbox every morning for the last few days with some mutual preening apparent.

7th – after some ‘technical difficulties’ at the back end of last week, the cameras are now back up and running, with the pair in the nestbox again this morning.

1st – after a brief flurry of activity last week, and with the weather turning colder, there have been no sightings of visiting owls recently.

February 2016

Roosting BO's 25021625th – some Barn Owl activity over the last couple of days resulted in a pair canoodling in the nestbox today, hopefully the first signs of more exciting things to come. At least one of the birds was ringed on the left leg (so possibly one of last year’s birds?).

10th – a Barn Owl was in the barn at about half past ten last night.

8th – please be aware that there may be some disruption to the webcam streams over the next couple of days associated with on-going electrical work to the site in Cornwall. We’ll do our best to keep any outages to a minimum.

5th – still no reports of activity but hardly surprising considering the weather.

January 2016

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 20th January 201627th – no recent sightings that we’re aware of. Let’s hope the birds are finding enough to eat, particularly in light of the appalling weather conditions overnight in recent days, with more to come in the forecast.

20th – no reports of any activity recently but at least the cameras have been fairly stable for a week now.

13th – Happy New Year all. After a period of camera down time they’re now both back up and running.