ABS Supporting Barn Owls with Antonio Pestana

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Cabra Field Meeting Afternoon Report

During the afternoon of the November field meeting in the Cabra area, we had a very interesting presentation in a beautiful location and we were all looking forward to listening to our friend and ABS member Antonio Pestana.

Project Alba, the Barn Owl hacking project is aimed to reinforce the species in the Andalusian region, and therefore an interesting topic for us all, particularly given it is also one of the main conservation projects supported by the Society.

We were all guided to Casa Olea which is situated in a splendid natural area and is located in an oasis for nature and bird lovers alike! The hotel Owners Tim and Claire are ABS members and supporters, who welcomed us with generous hospitality and showed us around the grounds, which includes a stunning wildlife stream. We also received a wonderful afternoon tea including homemade almond cake, which was truly delicious.

Owl nest boxes are made from pine wood (which is apparently costly here in southern Spain) and treated with linseed oil as any other wood treatment products contain chemicals which would be harmful to the owls. Antonio brought such a recently made owl nest box to Casa Olea for the presentation and this gave us a clear view on how this is made, the cost of such a box is approximately 100€, which is another reason why our support from the ABS is so important for the continuation of the Project Alba. Antonio has been passionately involved in the project since 2011.

Project Alba has seen over 75 barn owls released since 2008 and the ABS has faithfully supported this project for several years now and donated 500€ during 2022 and the Society can confirm that they will also donate a further 500€ in 2023.

Tim, the Casa Olea owner, is in agreement with Explora Natura (Antonio) to set up various hides around the stunning grounds specifically for bird watchers to enjoy and hopefully allow enthusiasts to take stunning photos. Also 2 Barn Owl nest boxes have been erected on the grounds of this protected property.

A great presentation from Tim, Antonio and Harley Dave!

This enjoyable, but chilly Cabra field meeting went splendidly.

David and I actually stayed in Casa Olea overnight and cannot wait to return again, it combined luxury but it also felt like home, with nature and birds all in a 24 hour period it was just amazing.

Thank you to all involved in such an interesting field meeting.

Article: Audrey Houvenaeghel – ABS Member
Photos: Audrey Houvenaeghel and Antonio Pestana

Note: The views expressed in articles are those of the authors, and are not necessarily those of the Society.




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