PEBOG Talk 9/6/09

PEBOG (Pennine Edge Barn Owl Group) Evening

The PEBOG team

7 members of the PEBOG team came to the MTVCA to give a powerpoint talk on "The Elusive Barn Owl". We had a reasonable turn out and there was a good atmosphere. Some of the members of the team gave a talk for around 10 minutes on the subjects of the owl's life cycle, behaviour, hunting habits, and habitat. It was extremely interesting and packed full of information. One very surprising fact was that most of those who attended (outside of the PEBOG group of course!) thought the sound was "twit a woo" or "t-woo", it was revealed that it was actually a screeching sound and not a sound at all associated with owls.A half size owl house

Another member gave a brief overview of the work of PEBOG and the fact that in recent months they had erected around 21 boxes around Lancashire in order to encourage barn owls to nest and mate and this was proving successful. They also appealed for any sightings of barn owls to be reported to them so that an accurate record can be kept of their numbers. They brought along an example of an owl box they use. They are very heavy and have to be hauled up on the tree by use of a rope pulley system. Then someone has to climb up and fasten them to a tree with coach bolts to sustain the weight.Barn Owl [life size!]

Tea, coffee and biscuits were served and people had a chance to mull around and chat. There was a lot of interest shown in the work which PEBOG did and a few new members were enrolled into their ranks. It was a really good evening.

It is hoped that a display illustrating the work of the PEBOG group will be put up at No.5 Oaken Clough and a link is already on MTVCA's website. Keep up the brilliant work PEBOG!

Seen any Barn Owls recently?

The Pennine Edge Barn Owl Group

Phone: 01457 835015

About Barn Owls

The barn owl is an elegant looking bird with a distinctive heart shaped face and relatively small black eyes. It has a white breast with golden plumage to the back and head. It is the only owl that appears white when in flight. Barn owls are nocturnal but can occasionally be seen in the early morning and late afternoon. They do not hoot like Tawny owls. Instead they have a variety of calls that sound more like screeches and snoring. Barn owls need extensive areas of rough tussocky grassland in the form of whole fields or field margins. This habitat is preferred by their favourite food source, the short-tailed vole. 95% of a barn owl diet is small mammals such as voles, mice and shrews. The owl eats its prey whole and disposes of the indigestible bones and fur in a pellet. The barn owl is afforded special protection under the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981 and has as much legal protection as any wild bird can have in Britain.' Individual birds, their eggs and young are protected at all times and nesting barn owls are protected against disturbance.

Why has the Barn Owl population declined?

The barn owl is the most widely distributed owl in the world but sadly under threat in the UK where the population has declined by over 70% in the last 50 years. The barn owl was considered to be very common during the 19th century but has declined to such an extent that it is now a rare bird over much of Britain. To a large extent, Britain's Barn Owl population has become dependant on the provision and maintenance of nest boxes due to the lack of more natural sites. Nest and roost sites are lost through a wide variety of causes including the' general deterioration of traditional farm buildings, unsympathetic barn conversions, and loss of hollow trees due to Dutch Elm disease and the general 'tidying up' of the countryside.

What are we doing?

The provision of nest boxes for use by Barn Owls is believed to be one of the most important conservation measures and one of the easiest to implement. Across the UK, a wide range of organisations and individuals have erected well over 25,500 Barn Owl nest boxes.

How you can help

You can help to conserve the Barn Owl by becoming a member of the Peninne Edge Barn Owl Group (PEBOG) If you are a taxpayer and complete a simple Gift Aid declaration we can reclaim the tax paid on your donation and significantly increase the value of your gift at no extra cost to you

Sign up for: Annual Fee:
c Individual Membership £5
c Couple Membership £8
c Family Membership £10
c Donation £
Method of payment
c Cheques made payable to Pennine Edge Barn Owl Group
Name _______________________________
Address _______________________________________Postcode__________
Phone No_________________
"Taxpayers please complete Gift Aid declaration.Sorry,donations under £5 are not acknowledged without an SAE"
I would like to know more about the Pennine Edge Barn Owl Group and enclose a large stamped addressed envelope.
Please tick the relevant boxes:

c Barn Owl Boxes
c Sample of PEBOG news (our bi-annual newsletter)
c Educational resources
c Consultancy/Site Assessment Service
c Fund-raising for the PEBOG

If you are a UK tax payer completing this Gift Aid form will enable us to reclaim the tax paid on your donation, thereby increasing the value of your gift at no extra cost to yourself.


Full name ________________________________

Address  ________________________________

Postcode ________________________________

I want the Pennine Edge Barn Owl Group to treat all donations I make on or after the date of this declaration as Gift Aid donations until I notify you otherwise.

Signature______________________ Date ______________

Note: Do remember to tell us if you no longer pay an amount of income or capital gains tax equal to the tax we reclaim on your donations. Please contact us if you have any queries.


At- 47 Old Brow
Lancs OL5 0DY

Improving habitat
We are trying to contact farmers and landowners who wish to encourage wild Barn Owls. We are informing them the importance of maintaining nesting and roosting sites and providing suitable hunting grounds.

We are willing to give talks to schools, teachers, societies, farmers and local authorities to raise awareness of the plight of the Barn Owl and the effect on the environment of everyday human activities .

We have attended the Farmers Markets in Ashton-u- Lyne and Mossley giving out leaflets covering all aspects of Barn Owl conservation, including habitat, nest boxes and barn conversions. All of our information is sent out free of charge.

If you think that you have seen a Barn Owl please let us know the following details.
The Date & Time
Where seen- preferably the Grid Ref.
Description of what you saw or heard
Your Phone No. for further discussion

Communication and Co-operation
The Pennine Edge Barn Owl Group is an associated member of the Barn Owl Trust and where necessary we will obtain their expert advice and information. We will work with organisations and individuals locally, nationally to encourage the conservation of Barn Owls and the whole environment.