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Owls Make Rabbit Ings Country Park Their Home

Friday March 15 2013


By Melvyn Plant By Melvyn Plant


AT least 14 owls have found a new home at a Barnsley nature park.

Short-eared, long-eared, little, barn and tawny owls have all been spotted at Rabbit Ings Country Park between the villages of Royston and Shafton.

It's thought they may have come from Scandinavia and have taken up residence at Rabbit Ings because of the large amount of voles living there.

Park ranger Mick Birkinshaw said there had been a couple of little owls on the park for a while, but the short-eared owls were spotted during a September wildlife survey.

The unmistakable hooting of a tawny owl was heard shortly after and then the barn owl was seen hunting. The four long-eared owls were spotted last week.

"They're beautiful birds which seem totally unconcerned by the presence of humans," he said.

Cliff Gorman, a local bird expert and a regular visitor to the park, said: "For me, to have up to six short-eared, at least two little owl, up to six kestrels, two buzzards, a barn owl and now long-eared owls regularly at one site, is special. To have so many top predators on one space is testament that the park is really rich in wildlife."

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Reply Posted by lilly on Friday March 15 2013 at 09:35
We have 2 wild owls visit every spring, can't wait

Reply Posted by Zoe Eskriett on Friday March 15 2013 at 11:03
I like owls because there are so beautiful.