Nestcam Diary 2017

To see our live 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 2017

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 29th June Xmasedit20th – still a little bit of activity most nights of late in both the barn and nestbox.

This will be the last update before the New Year. So whether you have supported us financially or with kind words over the last 12 months, have enjoyed watching the cameras obsessively (you know who you are!) or have simply popped in from time to time, we wish you all a happy solstice, a merry Christmas, and a very happy and peaceful New Year. From all of us at the Barn Owl Trust. x

13th – there are two birds in the barn this morning, one in the nestbox and one on a beam in the barn.

12th – after some investigative work, it’s looking increasingly likely that the issue with loss of sound on Nestcam may be to do with a recent Windows 10 update. We’re still looking for a fix but have not as yet found one. If anyone out there has managed to solve their own recent sound problem on Windows 10 please do let us know; Thank you.

5th – some fisticuffs were observed overnight, involving the resident ringed female and another bird, presumed to be one of the juveniles from the nearby late brood;

November 2017

29th – great excitement in the last couple of days with the appearance of at least one obviously juvenile Barn Owl in and around the nestbox, viewable on both Nestcam and Barncam on occasion. This is presumably from the nearby nest reported on these pages at the beginning of the month.

Unfortunately, some viewers have recently struggled to get any sound from Nestcam whilst for others the audio resource remains unchanged. We’re currently making enquiries to see whether anything has been altered or modified in terms of the streaming and will advise accordingly if we find anything out.

24th – an unringed, presumed female Barn Owl visited the barn last night and spent some time checking out the inside of the nestbox.

7th – rather surprisingly, a visit to the site yesterday resulted in the successful replacement of the Barncam camera. It was apparent that some of the IR lamps had burnt out so the substitute camera generously supplied by WildlifeTV was fitted and the zoom and focus played around with until it was as close to the original view as we could manage. Hope it’s satisfactory.

Whilst there, we received reports from the landowner of food begging noises at an adjacent site. Although it could be the/a female making these noises it’s also possible that there’s a(nother) late brood of owls!

1st – unfortunately, the intermittent fault with Barncam’s IR lamp first identified some weeks ago, and which plunged the camera view into darkness every now and again outside of daylight hours, appears to have become rather more permanent. Please be assured that plans are afoot to visit in the near future in the hope that we can rectify the problem. Apologies for any inconvenience.

October 2017

11th – despite there being a pair of Barn Owls variously at roost in the nestbox or on the tray for most of yesterday, there appears to be nothing to see today.

September 2017

25th – thank you to everyone who told us the cameras were down. Unfortunately, all the staff trained to reset them were out of the office on Friday. We have discovered the issue and are working to resolve this. The cameras should be up and working later today. Thank you for your understanding.Nestcam Barn Owl roosting

EDIT 1pm.- The cameras are now back up and working and there is even an owl roosting in the box.

August 2017

21st – there was some excitement this evening when an unringed Barn Owl was in the barn with a ringed bird. It could simply have been the resident pair but there were apparently some interesting interactions (sparring, then canoodling) before one, then the other, left as midnight approached.

17th – no confirmed sightings of any of the youngsters in recent days as far as we know but the presumed (unringed) adult male does tend to turn up most evenings and stay awhile.

4th – something untoward appears to have happened to the Nestcam camera. It’s just been showing a test screen recently so we therefore decided not to stream it. Fortunately most of the action has been viewable via Barncam, although in the last couple of days the presumed 2 older siblings appear to have started dispersal. Don’t be surprised however if either one or both make brief re-appearances in the near future.

July 2017

21st – we’re currently experiencing technical problems with Nestcam, probably as a result of the pretty awful weather we’ve got this morning in the south west. Hopefully we’ll be able to get the camera back up and running soon, assuming there’s no permanent fault. In the meantime, Barncam is working okay where at least 2 owlets are on show, the birds now spending little time in the actual nestbox these days.

20th – all 3 owlets still in the nestbox this morning.

5th – Owlet 3 took its maiden flight last night. It won’t now be long before they start spending less time in and around the nestbox or barn.

4th – as anticipated Owlet 1 started flying about a week ago. By July 2nd it wasn’t roosting in the barn, only appearing at about 10.30pm for food. It doesn’t appear to be in the nestbox or barn today either. Owlet 2 became airborne for the first time last night.

June 2017

28th – all 3 owlets were out of the box and on the tray last night. It shouldn’t be too long before the eldest is beginning test flights. Fingers crossed they all stay safe.

16th – the nest inspection was conducted today, and the very healthy and heavy owlets ringed;

Owlet no. 1; male, weight 397gms, wing length 222mm
Owlet no. 2; female, 369gms, 185mm
Owlet no. 3; indeterminate, 392gms, 173mm

14th – just to let you know that a nest inspection, including the ringing of the young, is due to take place in the next few days so if you see someone taking the owlets out briefly please don’t panic, they are qualified and licensed to do so and will be returning them unharmed to the nest afterwards.

13th – so Nestcam now appears to be streaming again for the moment at least. Fingers crossed it’ll continue.

12th – Nestcam seems to have a streaming issue at the moment, which we are working to solve. Please bear with us while the camera is down.  Barncam is working however.

8th – there was a power outage at the nestcam site yesterday but the cameras are now both up and running again.

7th – last night saw at least 17 prey drops. It appears that it is rather windy in Cornwall so there may be some interference with the cameras. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this so please bear with the weather! If the cameras do go down, we will endeavour to get them up and running as soon as possible.

May 2017

30th – after thunderstorms downed the cameras over the weekend they’re now back up and running this morning.

24th – the youngest owlet has been asleep lying down in the nestbox today, probably as a result of the increasing temperature.

22nd – the smallest owlet seems to have died overnight on the 20th leaving 3 owlets. Today there are a few small mammals dotted around on the floor.

19th – difficult to say how many youngsters we have but we’re fairly sure Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 19th May 2017there are at least 4.

18th – according to reports, the smallest two owlets died yesterday, the first mid-afternoon and the second over-night. Whilst it is sad to see these deaths, it is not unusual to lose some of the owlets during the nestling period. It also seems that due to the poor weather conditions in the South West over the last few days that prey drops were on the low side. That being said, last night saw 12 prey items dropped into the nestbox by the male and there is currently at least one small mammal in the far left corner. The 7th egg is still unhatched.

15th – some reports have been received suggesting that the 6th owlet hatched some time today on the basis of only one remaining egg still visible in the cluster of hatchlings.

13th – the first sighting of the 5th owlet was reported at 00:38 but there were suggestions that the owlet may have hatched earlier in the evening. It wasn’t until the female moved out of the box temporarily that it was possible to count the owlets.

11th – as far as we know the first absolutely nailed-on sighting of the 4th owlet was in the early hours of this morning, though it’s getting progressively more difficult to differentiate one from another as brood size increases.

10th – an impressive food cache this morning included probably up to 8 small mammals in a heap to the right of the incubating/brooding female.

8th – the 3rd owlet was first seen at 3.30am

5th – the 2nd owlet was first seen at 1.50am.

4th – good to see a food cache in the nestbox this morning. Still no 2nd owlet, as of 8.55am.

2nd – the 1st owlet was seen at about 11.20am this morning. However, the cams were down over the weekend so may have actually hatched at any time. Let’s hope that we get a bit more stability with the streaming from here on in.

April 2017

28th – just to remind viewers that the 1st egg is due to hatch on or around Bank Holiday Monday 1st May, with the others typically following at 2-3 day intervals. Please also note that the office is closed until Tuesday 2nd.

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 20th April 201720th – not wishing to speak too soon, particularly in light of the 4½ day gap between eggs 1 and 2, but it’s been 4 days since egg 7 appeared so suspect she’s now finished laying. The 1st egg is due to hatch on or around May 1st.

16th – the 7th egg was laid around 10am.

14th – the 6th egg was first seen just after midnight this morning.

13th – after some very bizarre technical issues with how we stream the cameras, in which all our settings had been removed, both cameras are now up and running. Please be aware that there will be no one in the office until Tuesday 18th April.

The 5th egg was first seen at 12.10pm today although, due to the cameras being off, it could have been laid at any point yesterday or today.

12th – WildlifeTV is now back up and running. However, there appears to be a problem with our cameras (it never rains but it pours!). We’re doing our best to reinstate the cameras, please be patient, and hopefully normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Unfortunately the WildlifeTV website, which streams our webcams appears to be down, and so our webcams are down too. There’s nothing we can do about this but hope that Wildlife TV are able to reinstate their website as soon as possible.

9th – the 4th egg was apparently laid at around 10.15am, with all 4 eggs visible for the first time when the female stood up at 10.35am.

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 7th April 20177th – the 3rd egg was laid overnight and first seen around 3am this morning according to reports.

5th – encouragingly, there’s a healthy food cache in the nestbox today, with at least 4 small mammals still visible mid-afternoon, strewn around the incubating female.

4th – after  a delay of 4.5 days (!), the 2nd egg was laid between 6.30am and 7.50am this morning.

March 2017

2017 1st Barn Owl Egg In Nestcam30th – the 1st egg was laid sometime between 7.22pm and 7.25pm and was first seen at 7.44pm. Egg laying is typically at 2-3 day intervals so we expect the 2nd egg to be laid on or around the 1st April. Please do keep an eye, check this diary and if we haven’t already reported any further eggs, let us know the time and date you see any additions by emailing

28th – more copulation was seen along with pellet shredding and scraping of the nest debris.

26th – the female has been scraping the nest debris and calling for food.

25th – copulation was seen a couple of times during the day and the female has been scraping the nest debris.

24th – still no sign of the female overnight, although the male did put in an appearance in the barn briefly a couple of times. The female was first seen back in the barn just after 7pm.

23rd – although the male was present until about half past 6 last night, there have been no sightings since. The female doesn’t appear to have been seen since just before midnight on the 21st.

22nd – after a rough old night of strong winds and heavy rain, both the barn and nestbox were empty for the first time in many weeks until late afternoon when the male appeared.

17th – still more copulation this morning at about 9.45am.

8th – although both cameras have been working in recent days, there have apparently been brief periods of outage, and periods when the cameras appear to be out of sync with each other. This is almost certainly to do with lack of bandwidth at trying to stream two cameras simultaneously at a remote and isolated location a long way from the telephone exchange. Unfortunately, these are things we can’t do anything about.

6th – after a pretty rough couple of days weather-wise over the weekend the pair is at roost in the nestbox or on the tray this afternoon.

3rd – more copulation was observed last night.

1st – the pair is still on the tray this morning.

February 2017

Barn Owl Webcam Barncam Screenshot 27th February 201727th – as the month draws to a close the pair is still roosting together, this afternoon sitting on the tray of the nest box viewable via Barncam.

21st – the pair is roosting on the tray of the nestbox this morning.

8th – some activity overnight, but only one individual at roost on the back beam visible via Barncam this afternoon.

2nd – despite frequent bouts of copulation, much screeching and quite a bit of interest in the camera over recent days, there appears to be only one Barn Owl at roost in the barn today.

January 2017

26th – . . . but not for long it would seem. Apparently the pair was ‘at it’ again last night, and the female was actively scraping the debris at midday today.

25th – although still roosting together during the day, it would appear that the recent sub-zero temperatures may have cooled the pair off as anticipated . . .

18th – more copulation apparently occurred overnight. We’re not expecting this to necessarily result in imminent egg-laying, as other expected behaviours, such as the female virtually never leaving the nestbox, the pair roosting together during the day, and (often) a food cache of uneaten small mammals, is currently lacking.

Barn Owl Webcam Nestcam Screenshot 12th January 201712th – both birds are in and around the nestbox today. At just before 2pm this afternoon the female had a vigorous bout of scratching the debris underfoot, and some shredding of pellets took place.

9th – more copulation in the early hours this morning, with the female scratching at the debris and shredding pellets. Perhaps the forecast ‘arctic blast’ will cool them off.

6th – the first reports of copulation were received, perhaps the result of the mild weather of recent weeks.

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