News Bytes July 2023

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


Just in – two young orphaned Barn Owls from different nest sites and two more are on their way here from the RSPCA. We also have, a young Tawny Owl awaiting release and a fledgling Little Owl recovering from a broken wing. Many thanks to our supporters for making all this possible!

Discover what to do if you find a young owl

1 owlet  2 mateo ruiz and owlet

Tawny owl box in tree



While visiting a site last week to give Barn Owl habitat advice, we also erected this Tawny Owl nestbox in a copse of woodland. Barn Owls are birds of open countryside, while Tawny Owls are very much a woodland species – they will roost, nest and hunt within wooded areas.

Learn all about Tawny Owls here



Barn Owl site check

4 heligan owlet

3 dr and heligan owlet

On 4th July David Ramsden visited The Lost Gardens of HeliganThey posted, “It’s always a pleasure to welcome David Ramsden, from the Barn Owl Trust to the Heligan Estate.  David joined us for his annual visit to Heligan where he checks on the owls that call Heligan home.  There are currently two breeding pairs of Barn Owls on the Heligan Estate, which is great news, considering that it is unusual to have two pairs so close together.  The first pair are currently in an old barn on the edge of the Heligan Estate and the second pair are in the Barn Owl tower that can be seen from The Hide.  David was able to sex, weigh and ring four owlets in total, three males in the tower, and one female in the old barn.”


We managed to recover our Instagram account! 

After ten weeks, we finally managed to get out account back. You can read all about it here.

5 instagram

6 bot calendar


A beautiful Barn Owl Calendar for 2024!

Exclusive to the Barn Owl Trust, our new Calendar for 2024 features stunning Barn Owl photos, all kindly donated by talented wildlife photographers.  Buy here for just £8.00 +p&p




7 vacancy


We advertised for an Assistant Conservation Officer (the closing date is now past).  This is an extremely diverse role requiring a combination of practical and office-based skills. The position is full-time and based at our office in Ashburton, Devon, UK. Keep an eye on our vacancies page for any upcoming roles.




VolunteeringEleni vreony instagram

On Instagram, Eleni Vreony said she “had a great time yesterday volunteering with The Barn Owl Trust. We spent most of the day maintaining their rough grassland site which is the field vole’s preferred habitat and these are the Barn Owl’s main food source.  The grassland was alive with spiders, Burnet moths, Marbled whites, Small Skippers, Bush crickets and the brilliant goat trio Annie, Alfred and Archie!”

About our Conservation Days




The Barn Owl Trust reserve

These photos have been taken on our reserve and show some of the diversity of little creatures that rely on the rough grassland! Find out all about the reserve and check out our Wildlife Diary.

9 dragonfly  10 cricket  11 spider  12 cricket


Barn Owl facts

13 bo

The Barn Owl’s heart-shaped face, or ‘facial disk’, collects and directs sound toward the ears. One ear is higher than the other, therefore sounds are heard differently which helps the owl’s brain work out the exact position of the sound source!  Click here to learn about Barn Owl adaptions.

The Barn Owl’s diet consists mainly of small mammals particularly:

  • Field Voles (45% of total British Barn Owl diet).
  • Common Shrews (20%).
  • Wood Mice (15%).

House Mice, Brown Rats, Bank Voles and Pygmy Shrews are also taken. The Mammal Society data has also shown that it’s rare for Barn Owls (in the UK) to take amphibians, invertebrates, birds and bats, although occasional cases have been recorded. Find out more here 


14 tawny on post

Tawny Owls

Tawny Owls (Strix aluco) are a resident, sedentary and highly territorial breeding species in the UK. They are responsible for the most commonly heard owl sound, the classic, nocturnal ‘twit twoo’ call, with which most people are familiar.





Office rebuild A tec

Huge thanks to Darren of A-Tec Design for designing our new building and doing the drawings for the planning application & building control. We are truly grateful for his support!








15 injured owlet


Forgotten an important occasion and need a last-minute gift?

Help us care for injured wild Barn Owls with this unique Owl Aid Gift.

  • £7 feeds an owl for a week
  • £15 pays for a course of antibiotics
  • £25 covers the fuel for a trip to the vet…

More info here.



A couple of very healthy, and super cute, young Barn Owls from a recent site visit by our Conservation Team!

Find out what to do if you think you’ve found a fallen owlet here.

16 two owlets



Here are some photos of just a few of the beautiful butterfly species that thrive on our rough grassland reserve! Creating prime habitat for Barn Owls supports an abundance of other species 😊

How to create and manage Barn Owl habitat

17 marbled white   17 ringlet    17 comma    17 gatekeeper


18 mateo and mats


Swedish Radio!

Mats Ottosson (R) has been visiting sites this week with Conservation & Science Officer Mateo (L), to see how we monitor and ring Barn Owls, to gather material for a Swedish radio programme!

It’s been wonderful meeting you, Mats! We wish you all the best with the programme.



19 two fledglings

Young Barn Owls

By 10 weeks of age, most young Barn Owls look like adults and are quite competent flyers. During fledging, the young repeatedly return to the nest and can still be found roosting together in the nest by day.






Rehab and release Screenshot bos barn

These two young Barn Owls came into our care as fallen owlets. Here they are building up their strength prior to dispersal. You can watch the full video here.

Do you know what to do if you find a fallen owlet? Discover all you need to know here:



Fritillary Butterflies

Their name is derived from the Latin word, fritillus, meaning chessboard Fritillaries.  These graceful butterflies are quite hard to tell apart! These three are: 1. Silver-washed Fritillary (on buddleia), 2. Dark Green Fritillary (in our office!), and 3. High Brown Fritillary (on Hemp Agrimony). Follow our wildlife sightings

20 silver washed fritillary   20 dark green fritillary   20 high brown fritillary


Fallen owlets! What to do

Frequent wet weather through July and unsafe nests have resulted in 59 ‘fallen owlet’ calls this month alone. That’s a lot.

Fallen Barn Owl nestlings should NEVER be left alone. But rather than simply put them back in the nest, it’s important to check them over and ascertain why they fell before deciding the best course of action. All the info needed is in our webpage and short videos.



The Lennon Legacy Project reserve

Kevin Keatley took some beautiful photos on the Lennon Legacy Project reserve.

21 view 21 wildlife tower    21 poppies21 sunflowers21 burnet moth


Celebrate Start Bay 

The Barn Owl Trust will be at the Celebrate Start Bay event again this year! Come and visit us to learn about Barn Owls and pellet analysis 😊


22 sunflower walk


Sunflower walk

The sunflowers on our reserve are looking wonderful at the moment, so we thought we’d invite you up for a look! We are running a walk on Thursday 10th August at 2:30pm around our beautiful reserve, and booking is essential. Find out more here.


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