BARN owls Finn and Orla, whose chick-rearing is being live-streamed from their box in the Blackdown Hills by the Somerset Wildlife Trust, now have four eggs to look after.
Orla laid three eggs over the Easter Holiday and has now added another ready to brood while Finn is providing her with a steady stream of small mammals. Last year the pair successfully reared three chicks.
The live-stream is available at www.somersetwildlife.org/swtbarnowls
The stream is the Trust’s first since 2014, when their barn owl couple Boris and Brenda became instant internet sensations, attracting over a million and a half visits from people all over the world who tuned in to see seven eggs hatch – an unusually large brood.
The live-stream, funded by the Heritage Emergency Fund and installed by Wildlife Windows, is providing high quality video and sound from the new box, providing viewers with clear and unique view of barn owl family life inside the box for the next few months.
Kirby Everett, Head of Communications, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have a live barn owl feed up and running this year. Lockdowns have brought many people across the country closer to nature, and made our lives all the richer for it.
“You can’t get much closer than a live feed, so we hope people will really enjoy following the couple’s journey to parenthood and learning about the behaviour of these stunning birds. Sharing their world from within our homes will bring nature to many people who are still unable to get the outdoor nature experiences they previously so enjoyed.
“Barn owls, like much of Britain’s wildlife, is declining and if we want to still see these beautiful creatures in the future, we need to restore and connect the habitats they and nature needs, and ensure we act in a nature-friendly way in our lives. Only then are we going to make a dent in the environmental challenges ahead.
“The prospect of future generations of Finn and Orla’s family not having safe homes is not one we want to entertain, and we hope the live feed will inspire everyone to find ways to help nature where they live. We will be providing lots of ideas on the live-feed’s web page, so tune in!”