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Caithness News Bulletins April 2006

April 2006 March 2006

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Bird Watching



Barn Owl Boxes Helping Biodiversity
As part of the Local Biodiversity Action plan for Caithness barn owl boxes have been built with the objective of increasing the number of available sites for them to nest in.  Once regarded as a scarce visitor to this area the number of barn owls in Caithness has been steadily increasing over the past few years although we are probably at the northernmost part of their range. The last few milder winters have benefited them making hunting easier and prey more available.

Many barn owls depend on manmade structures to nest in and in the past barns were made with a special hole on an end wall to encourage nesting and thereby helping to control the mice population.

With modern barns there are less of those good nesting ledges available but by placing large boxes in the corner of buildings with access for owls it gives them a place where they can breed.

The Murray Family from Borgie farm receiving some boxes from David Watt
 a member of the Caithness Biodiversity Group.

The Thurso Rotary Club built some of the owl and smaller tit boxes and the barn owl boxes were built by Colin Robertson.

A dozen barn owl boxes have been located around the county but we hope to build more next year so any land owner wanting a box should get in touch with Mary Legg, countryside ranger at 01847821531.

This project is part of the Implementation programme funded by the Highland Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Leader plus and Scotland Making it Work programme.