Tragic news of ' Our ' Barn Owl

14th April 2013
I received terribly sad news on Saturday evening, it looks fairly certain that our local Barn Owl that has been present in the area for some time has died. Barn Owl feathers and wings have been found near to where he regularly hunted and there was no other Barn Owl active in the area so I fear the worst. I have not seen him on my last three visits and now I know why. I am truly saddened that such a magnificent bird is no longer with us, I spent many evenings watching him hunting and trying to photograph him and I became quite attached to him. For me there are few better sights of an evening than a Barn Owl hunting in last light.
Around the country many Barn Owls became malnourished in the spell of bad weather during March, much of their hunting habitat was frozen or covered in snow, this made it harder for them to hunt and it also killed off many Voles and Mice. This, however, may not have been the cause of his death because they face many other perils during their fragile existence. One evening I witnessed him being attacked by a Buzzard and subsequently falling into a ditch, he recovered from that episode so who knows what the ultimate cause of death was.
In this area we can ill afford to lose Barn Owls, we do not have the luxury of buoyant populations that can recover quickly so it is a bigger blow. It's a sad loss to all nature lovers when a Barn Owl dies. I am thankful for the time I had with him, it was a privilege!
Here he is on his favourite branch.