Above: a total of 14 chicks have successfully fledged at Cossington Meadows in Leicestershire. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust


A RECORD NUMBER of 14 barn own chicks fledged at Cossington Meadows Nature Reserve in Leicestershire in 2021, which beat the previous record of 12 fledged owls in 2019.

Following a disappointing breeding season in 2020, conservationists at the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust were overjoyed with the new arrivals.

Barn owls have been breeding at the reserve since 2015 thanks to special nest-boxes erected in suitable trees.

May 2021 saw seven chicks hatch (three in one nest-box and four in another). These chicks grew well and fledged leaving the adults to lay another clutch. In October, seven more chicks arrived and a final visit to the boxes in November revealed that all the birds had fledged successfully.

Chris Hill, conservation officer at Cossington Meadows, said “We are delighted by the news, it’s incredible and great to see the boxes are a big success. We also recorded 16 chicks from our barn owl boxes at Rutland Water Nature Reserve this year, bringing our total across the reserves for 2021 to 30 chicks.”

For more information on the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, visit: www.lrwt.org.uk

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