Latest News, Weymouth, Wildlife | Posted: Thursday, May 7th, 2020 at 1:24 pm | return to news

DWT webcam captures hatching of Mr and Mrs B's first owlet

The first of five barn owl chicks hatched live on the Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) webcam on 5 May. The parents, affectionately known as ‘Mr and Mrs B’ by the dedicated followers of the webcam, have been roosting in the box on DWT’s Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve since winter 2019.

The barn owl parents with their newly hatched chick © DWT
The barn owl parents with their newly hatched chick © DWT

Following the outbreak of Covid-19 many people have taken great pleasure in being able to get a rare insight into the natural world on DWT’s webcam from the comfort and safety of their home.

Amy Ryder from Norfolk has been following the barn owls on the webcam and was pleased to see the arrival of the chick.  She said, “I’ve been watching these beautiful owls preparing their nest box for the arrival of five owlets to hatch. Today the first owlet arrived, and I haven’t been able to stop watching the webcam. As we are all going through these challenging times it’s a beautiful thing to watch and witness the new owls coming into the world.”

The first egg was laid on 7 April, followed by four others with the final egg laid on 15 April. The remaining four eggs are expected to hatch over the coming days.

Adult female Barn Owl at Lorton Meadows © Paul Williams
Adult female Barn Owl at Lorton Meadows © Paul Williams

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DWT’s Digital Media Officer, Cat Bolado said, “It’s been an exciting few days waiting to see when the first egg would hatch and it was wonderful to be able to hear the chick calling to its parents. Eggs hatch in the order they were laid, about 48 hours apart, so we hope to hear the pitter patter of more owlet feet over the bank holiday weekend. It’s been fantastic to be able to connect our wildlife community with nature in this way and see such a wonderful glimpse into the lives of these beautiful birds.”

One of the most-loved birds of prey, barn owls have a distinctive heart-shaped face and pure white feathers, making them easy to identify.  However, they are becoming increasingly rare due to loss of habitat.

The nearby Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve is managed for the benefit of wildlife such as barn owls and provides a good source of food such as voles and mice from the surrounding meadows and hedgerows.

The webcam is sponsored by PFM Associates and was installed by Wildlife Windows.

To watch the webcam, tune in now at: www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlifewebcam.

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