This a joint project between the Suffolk Ornithologists’ Group and Suffolk Wildlife Trust. In recent decades there has been a sharp decline in the population of Barn Owls in Suffolk. This has come about due to changes in farming, with the loss of rough grassy areas and field edges. Another factor has been the loss of nest sites from barn conversions and less hollow trees.
It was noted that the decline had been halted in recent years, partly from increased hunting areas for the owls where farmers were taking part in environmental schemes and were leaving grassy areas suitable for their prey. With the population recovering there was still a lack of suitable nest sites along with competition with those remaining. As Barn Owls readily use nest boxes the project came about to redress this problem and provide specially designed boxes to benefit the owls.
The aims of the project are to:
- Erect over 500 barn owl boxes in Suffolk by 2010
- Increase the number of barn owls in Suffolk
- Advise landowners on habitat management for barn owls
- Increase awareness of the barn owl
- Monitor barn owl populations
More details can be found on here – SCBOP.
Below is a table showing nest box use from the scheme up to September 2009.