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I have a client with a knackered tree that we need to make safe, but the neighbour has informed me that a barn owl has been using the tree for the past 4 years..

Is there any  protection for nesting sites that are used year after year? It could be argued that it is "in use.."

Barn Owls don't lay their eggs until april/may so we won't be disturbing any nesting birds and I am going to try and retain the cavity if we can.


Being a schedule 1 bird I want to ensure I have not missed anything... 



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It is on the boundary between a farm and a static caravan. I would have left alone if I could but it's next to a neighbours static caravan... The plan is to try and keep the roost by heavily reducing/topparding the tree, but not sure if the owls will still use the roost.

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19 minutes ago, felixthelogchopper said:

Just a thought but would it be possible to mitigate by installing a box in a suitable neighbouring tree?

Would be my next suggestion - but two - as males often like to roost away from family which I hearty agree with ;) k

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Are there owl pellets below?
As barn owls commonly nest elsewhere to feeding.
Often a huge pile of owl shit will be from a feeding place the bird feels safe.
Not necessarily a nest for breeding.
But it is classified as habitat.

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We recommended retaining a big ash due to cavities suspected of being used by barn owls. The owner, unbeknown to me was somewhat of an expert, he agreed the tree stem should be retained but doubted that owls would continue to use the tree, they are very particular about nest sites apparently. You can see the multiple cavities in the stem on the right.

Incidentally has anyone had any luck with nest boxes in barns? all i seam to get in mine are pigeons and doves.


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