Thursday, 10 May 2012

Raptor presentation by John Lusby in Bailieborough

report by Elizabeth

“Raptors of Ireland”, a presentation by Birdwatch Ireland’s raptor conservation officer John Lusby took place in Bailieborough on Thursday 26th April. John spoke to us about the raptor conservation projects he is currently involved in including work with long eared owls, kestrels and barn owls. We were informed on the recent findings of the Barn Owl Conservation Project and on how with the aid of satellite tracking and ringing much has been learned about the feeding and nesting habits of these birds in Ireland. Although the population has declined dramatically since the 1970’s, we still have many suitable nesting sites here in Ireland and it is quite likely we may have breeding barn owls in Cavan. The project has shown the stronghold of the present population to be the south west of the country and analysis of owl pellets has shown the bank vole and the recently discovered white-toothed shrew to be the main prey of barn owls. However secondary poisoning from eating poisoned rats and mice is a major threat to the barn owl. John showed us footage of barn owls in flight and played the calls we would be likely to hear this time of year if there are breeding birds in the area.
If you think you may have breeding barn owls in your area or if you would like information on  putting up a nest box please contact John at Visit this very informative blog for lots of information on birds of prey here

The Branch AGM took place prior to the talk and the committee for the coming year is as follows:
Chairperson: Heather Bothwell, Killeshandra.
 Secretary: Elizabeth Mc Kenna, Bailieborough.
 Treasurer: Sean Callaghan, Virginia.
General committee: Michael Mc Kiernan, Paddy Ronaghan, PJ Byrne, Peadar Reynolds and Tom Broe.
For Branch contact details please visit the Birdwatch Ireland website

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