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Barn owl fledglings look set to leave 'any day soon'

Photo: Peter Christian

Manx BirdLife project rears three chicks ready for take off

The maiden flight of the Island's most secret family of barn owls is edging closer. 


Manx BirdLife, the charity behind a nest box project, says the three surviving fledglings look set to leave the roost 'any day soon'.


Since early spring, the owlcam has been live-streaming the life of the rare barn owls to the rest of the world.


A clutch of six eggs were laid in April, though by June, only three hatchlings remained.


It is believed the not-so-lucky siblings were eaten by their older brothers and sisters - 'nature's insurance plan', according to the bird charity.


"The smaller hatchlings are often sacrificed for the benefit of the older, bigger chicks," says Manx BirdLife, "producing lots of eggs, but with the number surviving being dependant on how many mouths the parents can successfully feed."


The charity says it seems to have worked, because the three remaining nestlings have grown quickly and have well-developed feathers.


Earlier in the season, a second webcam was installed outside the nest box, which will provide a view of the young birds coming and going from their home as they learn to fly and acquire their hunting skills. 

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