Family fortunes

PUBLISHED: 11:33 08 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:33 08 June 2015




Essex Wildlife Trust is set to broadcast another tale of family fortunes from a barn owl nest box at Blue House Farm nature reserve this summer.

Now in its fourth year, the nestbox webcam can be seen at This year, six eggs were laid, the first of which hatched in mid-May. All being well, the chicks are likely to fledge from late July into August, so this month should see lots of activity in the box, as the young birds begin to flex their wings.

Last year’s female, which EWT believes has successfully raised young in front of the camera from 2012 to 2014, was found dead on April 7 near Barling, seven miles south-east of Blue House Farm. She was identified by British Trust for Ornithology after she was ringed last year. As sad as this is, her demise was discovered after a new pair confirmed in the nest — so the male had not take long to find a new mate.

Blue House Farm is in the village of North Fambridge, on the Crouch Estuary. Its coastal grazing meadows are home to many voles and are therefore ideal hunting grounds for barn owls. It has been an encouraging spring for Barn Owls in Essex and hopefully the upward trend will continue in the webcam nest.

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