03 November 2009

Eagle Owls and Oysercatchers

Its not uncommon for rings to turn up at plucking posts or in/under raptor nests, but occasionally the species are rather more interesting than normal. In the past we've mentioned Peregrines vs Hobby and Peregrine vs Quail but one that came in today was most unusual.

This was a record of just a metal ring (SS14393) and black colour ring found in an Eagle Owl nest in Sor-Trondelag in central Norway! The species was a bit surprising (Oystercatcher) but even more so was that it had been ringed in 1963! OK, so it was only the rings that were found, with no bird, so they could have been in the nest for a while... It was originally ringed at Gronant in NE Wales on 15 November 1963, and the finders did mention that the ring looked rather worn!

We have over 160 records of ringed Oystercatchers killed by birds of prey, mostly Peregrines, but also Sparrowhawks and Goshawks and even a Merlin!. Interestingly, we do also have three previous records from Eagle Owl nests, two records from White-tailed Eagle nests and one from a Gyr Falcon nest. All of these were in Norway, which is where our winter birds spend their summers.

1 comment:

  1. Analysis of food from nest remains and pellets suggests that 'waterbirds' including waders forms a much greater percentage of Scandanavian Eagle Owls than elsewhere in Europe & N Africa. Up to 46.7% by weight. I guess they are pretty adaptable to what is available.