Barn owl nest camera footage streams live from Dorset
LIVE nest-cam footage of barn owls is streaming to viewers, as part of a new wildlife conservation initiative.
Some 64 new barn owl boxes are being installed on farms in Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.
Live footage is taken from a Dorset farmhouse, allowing viewers to peeck inside and see a pair of owls in their natural habitat.
The Fordingbridge-based Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is the organization behind the program.
GWCT says that in “true style of reality TV” there has been “a lot of drama already”.
The trust said: ‘The couple started dating, moved into their home and began to mate.
“The camera even captured the female laying an egg.
“The live cams now broadcasts 24 hours a day, if ‘barn wifi’ allows, and viewers should soon be able to see fluffy owls hatch from the brood of four eggs the female has laid so far.
A grant from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund allows scientists at GWCT to work with 100 farms over 40,000 hectares, to inspire farmers and communities to help conserve barn owls.
Adult barn owls will also be tracked by GPS to better understand their use of arable habitats for food and to allow farmers to see the effects of their conservation efforts.
GWCT says the data collected will allow their scientists to develop advice on managing land for the benefit of barn owls and other species.
Dr Niamh McHugh, Project Manager at GWCT, said: ‘Although barn owl populations in the UK have stabilized after declining in the 20th century, as a major predator, the barn owl provides an indication of the ecosystem health and conservation measures for owls as well. benefit a wider biodiversity of agricultural land.
“It’s fantastic to be able to see this pair of owls going about their business and getting ready to raise chicks.
“We hope that seeing these wonderful, often elusive birds up close will inspire people to recognize the essential work that many farmers do for wildlife and encourage farmers to continue to make new, positive changes.”
Scientists and farmers work with local conservationists and bird banders, building relationships between volunteer groups and farmers.
A range of resources for schools and community groups will also be available and, by broadcasting a brood of barn owls live, the project also aims to engage people further.
Visit owlboxinitiative.com for more details.
To watch the owls in action, visit: owlboxinitiative.com/owl-box-live