Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is celebrating the return of its popular live webcam, as two barn owls have taken up residence and are sitting on four eggs, being watched by viewers from all over the globe 24 hours a day. The webcam is sponsored by Dorset Tea.
The webcam was first installed in 2010 thanks to ‘Wildlife Windows’*, and has featured breeding pairs of barn owls, kestrels and tawny owls in previous years. This April, DWT is pleased to see two barn owls return to the nest box, much to the delight of the dedicated fans watching day and night.
DWT’s Communications Officer, Sally Welbourn said, “We were all disappointed last year when no one took up residence in the barn owl box at Lorton, so this is such an exciting time and the webcam is a great way for everyone to follow their progress. Once the eggs have hatched, they won’t leave the nest until they have all their plumage and are at least 9-10 weeks old; they could continue to roost in the box for another 25 weeks, so we have a few months ahead to watch them grow and develop. Barn owls are now a rare sight in the countryside, and the future for these birds is uncertain, which makes this webcam even more special.”
Lisa Worthington from Dorset Tea said, “We are delighted to sponsor the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Barn Own Nestbox Webcam – what better way to enjoy a delicious cup of Dorset Tea™ than watching the miracles of nature live from our beautiful county. The Dorset Tea™ team are very excited about the chicks hatching now that there are 4 eggs. We feel lucky to live in such a beautiful county where the wildlife is so abundant and we want people to enjoy this at the same time as savouring our tea which is inspired by life in Dorset.”
The nest box that the owls have made home is located at Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve, and on a quiet evening you could even be lucky enough to see one of these stunning owls soaring over the reserve in search of voles, mice and other small prey to bring back to the nest.
The nest box is occupied for about 10 months of the year, as after the chicks have left, the male returns throughout the winter to roost, which will be shown live on-screen in the Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre, Lorton Lane, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 5QH.
To watch the webcam visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/raptorcam, where you can also enjoy a webcam on the Brownsea Island lagoon.