News Bytes – August 2023

News Bytes – August 2023

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


Thank you for your donations!

We depend entirely on donations & fundraising by supporters & volunteers, to support our vital Barn Owl conservation work.

Our website suggests ways to help – even if you don’t have any spare cash!

Giving without Money!


We receive some wonderful photos

Steve Bradley Photography shared these wonderful photos of five Barn Owlets being fed!

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The Planning Application Process

The planning application process is crucial for ensuring that wildlife is protected. The planned change will allow development of any buildings on agricultural land, including National Parks, to residential without full planning permission. This means no ecological survey. It’s not just Barn Owls that use these sorts of buildings for shelter and nesting, but many other species too, including Swallows, Kestrels, Little Owls and bats.

Read all about the consultation, including how to respond to it, here.



Barn Owl flight feathers

These are covered in a thin hair-like structure that traps air within the feather surface. This helps to maintain a smooth airflow across the wings and thereby avoid stalling at very low airspeeds.

The foremost wing feather (the 10th primary) also has a row of tiny hooks that help to deaden the sound of air hitting the wings’ leading edge! Almost-silent flight enables the birds to hear the tiny sounds produced by their small mammal prey and approach them undetected.  Click on this link for more information.



We shared this post from Extinction Rebellion Teignbridge. 

Dawlish “Dirty Water” silent protest 13/8/23.  Thank you rebels, water beings and green spirits and all who participated.  A powerful day.



Here’s a post from Paul Browning Photography

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Donations and fundraising

We depend entirely on donations & fundraising by supporters & volunteers, to support our vital Barn Owl conservation work.

Our website suggests ways to help – even if you don’t have any spare cash!  Click here to find out how you can support our work.



Tawny Owls (Strix aluco)

These owls are responsible for the most commonly heard owl sound in the UK, the classic, nocturnal ‘twit twoo’ call, with which most people are familiar

They are primarily a woodland species, but have adapted to live almost anywhere there are trees

Tawny Owls will nest in a variety of places but prefer tree cavities where available. They take readily to artificial sites such as purpose-built nestboxes.



Busy day in our Owl Hospital.

In fact, it’s been a busy summer. The mobile release aviaries are in action and lots of releases have already happened. Our latest arrivals are a Barn Owl from the RSPCA at West Hatch and a Tawny Owl with a head injury from Brixham.

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Meldon Wildlife Festival

On 22nd August we attended Meldon Wildlife Festival in Devon! Visitors learnt about Barn Owls and had a go at pellet analysis.



Working with others

National Trust Killerton posted that ‘The estate team are working in partnership with the Barn Owl Trust to ring some of the owlets they come across as part of a national monitoring scheme. All of this work is done under a license from Natural England to monitor barn owls at their breeding sites.

Here’s Mateo from the Barn Owl Trust carefully ringing an owlet.
(National Trust/Fi Hailstone.)

Owl ringing provides important information that underpins conservation work for owls.  Find out more about ringing here



Bat boxes

Our Reserve Officer, Harry, made these bat boxes to go on the field shelters in our reserve

If you would like to have a go, here is a useful link.

For the story of our reserve click this link



Barn Owl Ecology, Surveys and Signs (BOESS)

Looking to increase your Barn Owl knowledge and work towards gaining a licence to survey Barn Owl sites?

The Barn Owl Trust’s comprehensive Barn Owl Ecology, Surveys and Signs (BOESS) online training course is a great place to start, read all about it here.

The certificate from this course can be used in lieu of one reference for the CL29 licence in England and Scotland, and as supporting evidence in Wales.

If you have any questions about the course, please contact



Beautiful owlets!

This beautiful brood of owlets was raised in a natural tree cavity! At this age, around 7 weeks’ old, these young Barns Owls will shortly be taking their first flights and losing all of their fluffy feathers.



Adopt a Barn Owl

Here is some feedback we received on a recent adoption:

“The recipient really loved it… She is really blown away! I found it fascinating to read up on the history & work the BOT do. I will definitely take up a 2nd year option on Baley…”

Adopt a Barn Owl here.



Celebrate Start Bay

Recently, Jess (BOT admin team) and volunteer Eleni, attended the Celebrate Start Bay event in South Devon! They did pellet analysis with children and families, which the kids always love.

Find out all about Barn Owl pellets and pellet analysis here

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Summer flowers

Our last sunflowers are still feeding bees, while the earliest ones are already feeding the birds.  Photo by Kevin Keatley who commented “Photo taken on the Barn Owl Trusts Lennon legacy project, 26 acres of wildlife heaven.




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