First barn owl chick hatches live on Dorset Wildlife Trust webcam

Barn owl webcam

Yesterday evening (5th May) the first of five barn owl chicks hatched live on the Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) webcam. The remaining four eggs are expected to hatch any day now and over the bank holiday weekend.

The first egg was laid on 7th April, followed by four others with the final egg laid on 15th April.  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.  

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 5 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".  

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.” 

Barn owls are one of our most loved birds of prey.  They 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.  

Thank you to PFM Associates for sponsoring the barn owl webcam, and to Wildlife Windows for installing it.  

First chick hatched on DWT webcam - 5th May 2020

First chick hatched on DWT webcam - 5th May 2020

Adult female barn owl at Lorton Meadows © Paul Williams

Adult female barn owl at Lorton Meadows © Paul Williams