Monday, 3 October 2011

Alarming decline in Montgomeryshire Barn Owls

The Montgomeryshire Barn Owl Group (MBOG) recently held their AGM and this year's breeding results have shown yet another alarming decline. The last two severe winters have contributed to the depletion of Barn Owls in the county from a record of 73 pairs in 2005 to just 23 known breeding pairs this year.


The table shows the trend since 2005 when 73 pairs produced 249 young. Obviously yearly figures fluctuate up and down with factors such as prey availability and birds not reaching breeding weight but the group fear that another hard winter could be devastating for Barn Owls in Montgomeryshire.

With Bob Formaggia wishing to take a back seat after 21 years at the helm of the group, Chris Griffiths has stepped in as group leader, and Karina Pugh as secretary. Chris (below left), a licensed Barn Owl ringer, has been active in the conservation of Barn Owls for 10 years.

Chris during training with TC

MBOG monitors around 350 sites throughout Montgomeryshire with a dozen or so dedicated volunteers scattered around the county. In the interest of monitoring and conserving Barn Owls in the county, MBOG is urging the public to report any breeding sites and all sightings of birds, dead or alive, to the group.

Anyone wanting more information can call Chris on 01686 626603 or email

MBOG would also like to thank The Environment Agency, Forestry Commission
(Wales) and all the local landowners for their continued support.

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