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Action Group Appeals for Barn Owl Sightings

An appeal for members of the public  has been issued from a barn owl action group to send in their sightings of the stunning bird of prey.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Barn Owl Action Group (BOAG) is asking people to get in touch with them if they see one across Staffordshire. They are especially keen to hear from people who spot a barn owl in the Stoke-on-Trent area.

The group reported an increase of 12.5 per cent in breeding barn owls last year: 44 compared to 40 in 2014 and 2015. This was despite national figures showing there are fewer barn owls being seen across the country than ever before.

Affiliated with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and formed in 2001 after it was noted there were just 30 records of barn owls in Staffordshire, BOAG are made up of a small group of volunteers. The group build, install and monitor nest boxes across Staffordshire.

Helen Cottam, BOAG co-ordinator, said: “We haven’t received many records of barn owls from the Stoke-on-Trent area in recent years, but we suspect there will a number which are located there. We do need to stress that we’re solely after barn owl records – not tawny owl records – as they can often be mistaken for each other. The tawny owl has a ‘twit-twoo’ call and are brown, while barn owls hiss and screech and are distinctively white.

To record a sighting of a barn owl, email the group boag@staffs-wildlife.org.uk and include an address of the sighting, a date and time, and/or a six number grid.

For more information about BOAG contact Helen on 01889 880100 or email h.cottam@staffs-wildlife.org.uk

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