Sorry folks but nothing to report or images to display from the last week or so, work and bad weather has put paid to that! But what I have been doing is renewing my licenses that will enable me to carry on doing my survey/monitoring work with the owls. No license or legal obligation is required for surveying the Little owls, just common sense really, but when it comes to monitoring Barn Owls now that is quite a different matter! Because they are on the "Amber List" (a species with unfavourable conservation status in the UK) a license is required.
For the first time I actually applied for the required licence (Schedule 1 disturbance permit) in my own name, previously I'd been named as an agent on somebody elses license. My application has now been approved by the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) and it came through today, hooray!!
I also had another confirmation today, my very own ringer trainer! Mmmmm well what does that mean?? Well it means that I am going to be going out in the field accompanied by a "trained ringer" from the BTO, and in time if I prove myself to be competent enough I'll be able to ring the owls all on my very own, hooray!!
After all this excitement I went onto the BTO website to do a bit of reading and self education about ringing and what a mass of information there is. Whilst doing this wee bit of research I started to read all about ringing and how it helps us understand bird ages, movements, dispersal etc, and some fascinating owl facts and figures there are too.
Did you know.................
The longest lived UK "wild Barn Owl was an incredible 15 years and 26 days old (at least) , not that old in human terms but when you consider the average life span for a Barn Owl in the wild is only 4 years this owl from Essex did pretty well!
A Barn Owl that was rung at the nest in July 2007 in Glenurguhart, Highlands, Scotland was recovered alive after being hit by a car in November 2007 in St Ishmaels, Dyfed, South Wales? It had travelled an incredible 624km in just 5 months!!! This was the longest recorded movement of a Barn Owl within the confines of mainland UK, a miraculous journey for sure, just where was it going?
Now the above journey can be beaten by a Barn Owl that had visited the UK on holiday back in 1991. This particular bird was found injured in Penzance, Cornwall. It had been rung 6 months previous as a nestling in Wietzen, Germany!!! An even more incredible journey totalling 1,054km.
Now I was pretty impressed with the information that can be gathered through ringing recoveries but this last fact just blew me away!
A Barn Owl that was rung at the nest in Weddlesbury, Oxfordshire in June 2005 was found dead 9 months later in Afghanistan after travelling a whopping 5,383km!!!
Hope you liked these Barn Owl ringing facts and figures, hopefully one day one of the owls that I'm going to ring in the future will appear on this list, we'll just have to wait and see?