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Barn owls are back on the Brooks

Last modified: 12 June 2009

Barn owl perched on a beam in a barn

We're pleased to announce the hatching of three bouncing baby barn owls atRSPB Pulborough Brooks nature reserve.

After last year's wet weather resulted in unsuccessful breeding attempts by barn owls, staff and volunteers have eagerly been looking out across the reserve for signs of these spectacular birds.

With reports of adult birds seen hunting across the brooks over the past few weeks, the reserve's wardens have been checking potential nest sites and were thrilled this week to find the chicks in a purpose built nestbox, the oldest chick is believed to only be about 10 days old.

Peter Hughes, RSPB Warden said: 'Barn owls have been associated with this area for a long time, nesting close to the brooks, or even in the visitor centre roof. However, last year we did not have any successful nesting pairs, the wet summer would have affected the populations of small mammals, such as field voles, which make up barn owls' prey.

'The news that they are back this year, and have bred successfully, has certainly been met with excitement by everyone.'

To find out how the barn owl chicks are progressing, why not visit the reserve, which is located off the A283 between Pulborough and Storrington, or contact the visitor centre on 01798 875851 or e-mail pulborough.brooks@rspb.org.uk

RSPB Pulborough Brooks Visitor Centre is open daily, with gift shop, information area, toilets and tearoom which serves lunch daily from 12 noon – 2.30 pm and cakes all day.

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