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Barn Owl

Bird Surveys

Phlorum provides bird surveys, including barn owl and breeding wintering bird surveys across southern England, including Sussex, London, Surrey, Kent, Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

Woodpecker holes

What birds are protected in the UK?

All birds, their nests and eggs are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). Certain rare species (Schedule 1 birds) receive additional protection from disturbance while breeding.

Phlorum is highly experienced in carrying out wintering and breeding bird surveys, as well as vantage point surveys. From these surveys we will devise suitable mitigation strategies for a range of projects including offering watching briefs and toolbox talks.

Breeding & Wintering Bird Surveys

Blackbird nest in knotweed

As all wild bird nests are protected and some birds are given extra protection, depending on the potential impacts of development, it may be necessary to carry out bird surveys. The range of bird surveys can include, but not be limited to:

  • Breeding bird surveys
  • Wintering bird surveys
  • Vantage point surveys
  • Nesting bird surveys/checks

Specialist surveys for certain types of birds, such as skylarks or birds of prey, can also be carried out. Breeding bird, wintering bird, and vantage point surveys often require several surveys over several months.

Barn Owl Surveys

Barn owl

Barn owl numbers have significantly declined, as a result of loss of nesting sites, loss of hunting grounds and an increase in man-made hazards.

Barn owls are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which protects the birds and their young. It is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb them. As a result, they are protected from being killed or injured, or taking, destroying or damaging their nest, or taking or destroying their eggs.

As a result, the buildings or trees they nest in are also protected. The typical life span of a barn owl is 4 years in the wild. Barn owls mainly hunt small mammals over rough grassland. They eat their prey whole but regurgitate the bones and feathers. This means that barn owl pellets, which are about the size of an adult’s thumb, can be used to identify their presence in an area. They generally hunt at dusk or dawn, relying primarily on sounds, but they also have good eyesight. You need a licence to approach or view the contents of a barn owl nest.

Barn Owl Barn Survey Methodology

  • A barn owl survey can involve the following:
  • Desk study (review records of barn owls in the area)
  • On-site scoping survey (looking for signs such as pellets, feathers, droppings, nest debris, and actual owls)
  • Nest site verification survey (this requires a disturbance licence)

Contact us for more information about our bird and barn owl surveys. We are happy to have a free, no-obligation chat to see how we can help.

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