Skip to main content

Forestry & Land Scotland (FLS) Environment Team in the South Region are using endoscopes to check nesting boxes for Tawny Owl chicks.

The months of April and May are when the Tawny Owls typically brood young chicks. Only one clutch of eggs is laid, usually in the early spring.

The Environment Team use an endoscope attached to a pole, linked via an app on their mobiles, to see inside the nesting boxes that are typically mounted on tree trunks 3-4 metres off the ground.

Using the endoscope method means the team do not have to climb a ladder nor take the lid off the nesting box, which might disturb the occupants.

Approximately 40 tawny owl nesting boxes across FLS managed land in the Galloway Forest are being checked. 

Environment Forester. Kim Kirkbride, said:

“The nesting boxes provide breeding opportunities that would otherwise be harder to find, because conifer plantations lack suitable, natural, nesting sites such as cavities in old trees. Checking the boxes allows us to understand the distribution of tawny owls across an area.

“It also means we can schedule any forestry operations around any successful breeding, so we don’t disturb these lovely creatures.”

Tawny Owls are primarily a woodland species but have now adapted to live almost anywhere there are trees, including city parks, urban and suburban gardens, hedgerows, and commercial, coniferous forestry.

Their call is the classic, ‘twit twoo’ call, which is most often heard at night, that most people associate with owls.

The data that’s collected by the teams is then provided to the local raptor study group which monitors birds of prey within Dumfries and Galloway.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.

  2. |

  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland Media Office 07785 527590 or