Hi Paul, you’ve been a regular contributor to the PBMS for nearly 5 years. Tell us a bit about yourself?
What does the Bisham Barn Owl Group do?
We advise local landowners and farmers how to create and manage habitat for barn owls, and where appropriate we put up owl boxes. We ring all the chicks from our boxes, and also focus on ringing and retrapping the adult Barn Owls as part of the BTO Retrapping Adults for Suvival [RAS] scheme.
What are the most interesting Barn Owl recoveries you have had?
In 2016 we retrapped a female Barn Owl that had been ringed as a chick in 2001, making it the oldest recorded wild barn owl in Britain at 15 years 113days old.
Fledglings ringed in our area have been found breeding the following year as far away as Northamptonshire [77km].
Do you put up boxes for other species?
As well as around 150 Barn Owl boxes, we also monitor Tawny Owl, Little Owl and Kestrel boxes. And besides raptors, we also run several woodland nest-box projects for small birds, including blue tit, great tit, marsh tit and nuthatch.
How did you first hear about the PBMS?
Through the BTO Schedule1 licensing scheme, which suggests that any failed Barn Owl eggs that are recovered be sent to the PBMS for analysis.
Note: (The PBMS accepts eggs from all Birds of Prey collected from failed nests by appropriately licensed ringers / nest recorders)
How and where do you find most of the birds that you submit?
Either they are reported to us by the landowners and farmers we work with, or by members of the public who report them through our website/email address.
Do you have any tips for anyone thinking of submitting birds to the PBMS?
When driving, have your passenger keep an eye out for dead birds / mammals by the roadside. But only stop when safe to do so. If on a motorway, report the finding and location (nearest km marker and direction) to the Highways Agency on 0300 123 5000.