Barn Owls: Isle of Man webcam to 'monitor' population

Published
Image source, Manx BirdLife
Image caption,
There are only thought to be about six pairs of barn owls on the Isle of Man

A webcam has been installed in a nest box on the Isle of Man to help "monitor and protect" the local barn owl population, a charity has said.

Manx BirdLife said little was known about the "enigmatic" owls, and the project will provide a "rare insight into their behaviour and biology".

There are thought to be about 4,000 breeding pairs of barn owls in the UK, but only about six on the Isle of Man.

The webcam was installed at a secret location but can be viewed online.

Image source, Manx Birdlife
Image caption,
Barn owls are a protected species and it is illegal to disturb the birds without a special licence.

Neil Morris from Manx BirdLife said: "The birds are of course wild and free to come and go.

"We hope they will decide to use this particular nest box for raising their family this summer. Everyone involved has their fingers crossed."

Barn owls

Image source, Manx Birdlife
  • They nest in holes in trees, barns and outbuildings, cliffs, former mines and quarries
  • 75% of young die in their first year
  • Adult pairs can produce two batches of eggs a year
  • Juveniles fly at 50-55 days
  • Owls remain in territories which have a border, or edge, of 12-15 miles (20-25km)
  • They can hunt using only their hearing

Source: RSPB