Saving wildlife is a never-ending battle; man’s greed, habitat loss, and climate change are always waiting to destroy wildlife, and constant vigilance is required to ensure that hard-won gains are not lost.
In the United Kingdom (UK), barn owls are a case in point. They are only safe because animal lovers like you are funding and building nesting boxes for them.
Barn owls have been in terrible trouble for a long while because, slowly but inexorably, their habitat is being destroyed. The solution to this challenge is man-made nesting boxes to replace the hedgerows and copses that once provided nesting spots before farming methods changed.
If all the UK’s barn owl nest boxes fell down, barn owls would probably go extinct!
Colin Shawyer, who set up the Barn Owl Conservation Network, says that up to 80% of barn owls now nest in man-made boxes. “If all those boxes fell down, we’d probably see extinction. I don’t know of any other species that is so reliant on one component of their habitat – a nest box – for their survival, and that’s all done by people,” says Shawyer.
Nesting boxes are urgently needed if we are to win the battle for the barn owls and we are working to provide and maintain them. The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary (SOS) is at the forefront of saving owls in England’s Suffolk county. It has some 300 nest boxes, which provide a safe haven for owls to raise their young.
SOS depends on donations, and COVID-19 has hit fundraising hard and also decreased the number of volunteers available to monitor the boxes. Existing boxes need maintenance, and many more boxes must be built for the barn owl population to grow.
$90.00 will buy a British barn owl a safe breeding spot where a family can thrive.
SOS reached out to Animal Survival International (ASI) for assistance, and we have promised to help if we possibly can. Each nest box costs around $90.00 (£65.00), and if we can raise $5000.00 (£4100.00) we can fund the creation of another 55 boxes.
SOS also runs the Wild Raptor Hospital where they treat sick and injured owls. If we raise an extra $1000.00 (£780.00), we can buy barn owls a much-needed microscope to check their blood and help them become disease-free. This is vitally important because barn owls have to be completely healthy before they can be released back into the wild.
Barn owls are beautiful highly sensitive and intelligent creatures who have complex communication systems and cooperative social structures. They have elaborate courtship rituals and often mate for life. Baby barn owls are nonviolent, altruistic, family-oriented animals. Barn owl siblings clean and feed each other and huddle together to stay warm. They even negotiate who in the nest will get the food their mom or dad is about to bring them in the most amicable way, by deciding among themselves who is the hungriest based on whoever emits the neediest call. Keeping these birds alive is so important.
At ASI, we do our absolute best to provide solutions for problems. Here is a situation where even a small donation will make a difference to a beautiful and iconic species. Please donate right now and we will make sure that when the cold English winter comes, barn owls will be safe and warm and doing their bit to propagate the species.