Male Barn Owl, near Dingle, 7th July 2014 (Michael O'Clery).
Ringing of Barn Owls in Kerry over the past three days has yielded mixed results. Many traditional nests are empty, no doubt victims of last springs' record low temperatures and the resulting worst breeding season in many years. However, wherever the owls survived, they have done remarkably well this season, with several broods of four chicks.
The spread of the egg-laying dates of Barn Owls has been unusual this year. While one brood near Barraduff has already fledged (70+ days), we discovered a nest near Dingle on 9th July where the female was still sitting on seven eggs. Five chicks in one brood has yet to be recorded in Kerry, but perhaps this nest site will be the first.
Full results will be posted later. See also the Irish Raptor Blog HERE
Female Barn Owl, near Dingle, 7th July 2014 (Michael O'Clery).