Goshawks and Barn Owls

All that remains
All that remains

I was very sorry to find the remains of a barn owl which had been killed and plucked in the windbreak a few days ago. At first I thought that the white feathers belonged to a woodpigeon, but there was no doubting the identity of the victim when I got up close. It had been nobbled, then taken to a plucking post where it had been devoured like a sparrowhawk would butcher a blackbird. There is quite often a goshawk in this long strip of spruces, and barn owls do feature on the goshawk menu, so I would suggest that these two predators came together in an unfortunate collision.

When a goshawk kills a barn owl, it is only natural. One species eats another, and it is silly for me to get hung up on the situation simply because I love barn owls. But I have to question the mentality of human beings who have deliberately released goshawks into the forests of Dumfries and Galloway at this time when so much of our wildlife is at a low ebb. This is the defining difference between “goshawk conservationists” and “upland conservationists”. Unfortunately, one attracts much more support and funding than the other.



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