Bowland Eagle Owls reported safe, but are there two pairs this season?

Contrary to previous comments posted on the Raptor Politics web site earlier this month it seems the pair of eagle owls nesting in the Whitendale valley are safe and doing very well. It now appears despite rumours and misleading information indicating the pair had been displaced by the activities of a shooting syndicate around Christmas, this information was totally incorrect.

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This week two eagle owl watchers making an evening visit to the Whitendale valley were fortunate to say the least when their patience was rewarded with a magnificent sighting. They report they saw the male bird flying along the heather banking  across the river running down the valley towards Dunsop Bridge. They watched in amazement as the male owl clutching a small rabbit landed across the river near to a dead tree and deposited the rabbit on the banking, at which point both birds were heard calling to each other very loudly. After the watchers saw the male greeting his mate with the rabbit, the male owl then flew from the banking further up the gully landing upon a fence post. At this stage it is doubtful that any eggs being incubated will have hatched. In any eventuality we will do our best to keep you fully updated with any additional news as and when we receive it.

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There are persistent rumors that once again this season two breeding pairs of eagle owls have been recorded in Bowland. Several weeks ago RP received word from two of our followers informing us they had tracked down a second pair at a different location where they had heard calling on a number of evenings. The good news, ALTHOUGH UNCONFIRMED, suggest that the second pair are now also incubating a complete clutch of eggs. We ask everyone to act responsibly and make sure to keep well away from both nests. By all means undertake your observations from a safe distance to avoid any unwelcome disturbance at this sensitive period.

5 comments to Bowland Eagle Owls reported safe, but are there two pairs this season?

  • What wonderful news, since the NWRPG were denied their licenses to monitor raptors on UU land we have stuggled to get any concrete information with regard to these wonderful owls, I to hope and pray that they are left alone to do what nature intended and look forward to any more news that may come along.
    How lucky the people were to see the wonderful sight of the male carrying food and to hear the calls to one another, truly wonderful.

  • Thomas

    Is it a surprise or not ? Are they escaped birds or not ? Anyway some couples were reported to nest recently in north of France near Belgium and Ardennes region. Unhappily, a bird has been shot in Calais also. So with these news everything can be supposed as a natural presence in Britain.
    At the same time we could imagine as a kind of expansion as others birds.

  • Mike Wright

    I am sure the Whittendale pair of eagle owls will survive, they have been around for a few years now which is a good sign. The current nest although hard to access is quite close to the resident shoot which you think would be a concern maybe not.
    I saw the pair in August late one afternoon flying from the nesting site heading towards the Whittendale hamlet and what a site.

    Hope people manage to get a glimpse of them.

    Editor’s Comment. Thanks for the information Mike, great to hear they are still around. We have been concerned because of the forestry work late into the evening and when two of our raptor workers visited the valley late into the night the owls could not be heard which was a little worrying. If you have any more new sightings please contact us using the confidential Contact Us link?

  • Mike Wright

    Thanks for the feedback it’s much appreciated.

    I am up in the area for a couple of days again 17th and 18th Feb so will be in touch if there is anything to report, the forcast is pretty good so fingers crossed.

    Editor’s Comment, Thanks Mike for this, hope to hear from you in the next two or three days. Just to bring you and all our followers up to speed on the Whitendale Eagle owls. Over the weekend the Dunsop valley has seen a constant trail of birders walking with scopes and tripods over their shoulders up the valley. Information just received are telling us that at one point yesterday it was like walking along the sea front at Blackpool. We just hope the forestry work has not caused the owls any problems this year. If the good weather holds out the breeding pair should be down on eggs withing the next week. Let just hope EVERYONE stays well away from the territory this year!!

  • Thomas

    And what about eagle owls predation on bird and fauna in Britain. Anyway, I scare for wild cat, marsh harrier or any other threatened specy.