Deeping St Nicholas farm is doing its bit to save these cuties

Owlets at Vine House Farm. ANL-161018-095218001
Owlets at Vine House Farm. ANL-161018-095218001
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These heartwarming images show owlets patiently waiting in a basket ahead of being ringed as part of conservation work.

Vine House Farm in Deeping St Nicholas has been ringing barn owls for around 30 years as they have over 20 nesting sites in a bid to repopulate owl numbers.

Tim Golland, 11, ringing an owl at Vine House Farm. ANL-161018-101237001

Tim Golland, 11, ringing an owl at Vine House Farm. ANL-161018-101237001

Numbers have dropped over the past five years due to a wet summer in 2012 which caused a shortage in voles – the barn owl’s main food source.

Owl ringing, which consists of putting an identifying band around their leg, assists conservation work and the scheme is run by the British Trust for Ornithology.

Ringing aims to monitor survival rates of birds and collect information about their movements.

Owner of Vine House Farm, Nicholas Watts, has now passed on the skill of ringing to his 11-year-old grandson Tim Golland.

The group of seven white fluffy owls can be seen patiently waiting in the red basket before being taken out and having the ring attached to their leg.

Barn owls can breed throughout the year but most pairs lay their eggs in the spring and nestlings are ringed between three and seven weeks old.

Each pair produce on average between four and six eggs but not all of them hatch and roughly only two of the brood survive.

By eight to nine weeks old owlets will make their first short flights and by 10 weeks of age most young barn owls look like adults and are quite competent flyers.

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