Nesting Pairs and Chicks Raised (2006-2015)

Here are the breeding results we have recorded in bar chart format.

Over the 10 years the average number of breeding pairs has been about 16 and the number of chicks raised has been 54.

In 2015 the number of chicks was well down on 2014 even though we had more pairs, this was inevitably due to the crash in vole population and therefore the food supply.

Average Number of Chicks per Pair (2006 - 2015)

This chart shows the average number of chicks raised by each pair.

The numbers range between 3.1 and 4.6 and the average is 3.5. In 2015 the average chicks per pair was 2.3 which is a quite a low figure compared to previous years. Survival rates are higher in those years when there is a plentiful supply of mice and voles. When prey populations are low then this will affect the survival rates of chicks. The reasons for variation in mice and vole populations is not well understood.

Another factor is the weather. Owls need dry and quiet conditions in order to hunt. Wet and windy conditions usually means that hunting success falls to nearly zero. Extended periods of wet and windy weather will increase chick mortality rates.