Visitors flock to check out baby barn owls

VISITORS have been flocking to a nature reserve in Crow country for a rare chance to catch a glimpse of some barn owl chicks.

The chicks are currently residing in a nesting box at the RSPB Fowlmere nature reserve, and on Saturday volunteers were on hand with binoculars and telescopes to help people get a closer look.

Steph Morren, date with nature project officer at the RSPB, said: “There are currently four chicks poking their heads out of their nest box while they wait for their parents to bring their food. They are now quite large and struggle to all fit in.

“It’s the fourth year we’ve had barn owls in the box, and we think it’s the same breeding pair which keeps coming back.

“You wouldn’t normally see chicks at this time of year, but we think they must have had eggs that didn’t hatch or very young birds that didn’t make it. The weather could also be a factor.”

At the time of going to press the birds were still in their nesting box, but are expected to fledge, or fly off, in the next few days. Nevertheless, there is still plenty to see at the reserve, which is located off Mill Road, Fowlmere.

Ms Morren said: “Fowlmere is a fantastic reserve at all times of year, but is particularly beautiful in autumn, and such good views of the barn owls so late in the year make it an incredibly worthwhile visit.”