If you find yourself intrigued by the nesting habits of your local flying friends, you’re not exactly an odd bird. Armed with binoculars and camera monitoring systems, many avid birdwatchers have spent countless hours observing the stunning owls in their backyard—and even monitoring nests for science!
But if you’re hoping to bring the wild a little closer to home, you may be considering ways to encourage more owl nests on your property. After all, with the right habitat, you can prompt any owl to make its home near yours.
However, finding the best owl nesting box isn’t just a question of aesthetics. In fact, there are a few key things your feathered friends will need to make their house a home. Here’s what you should know as you consider your options.
First off, it’s important to start by considering the size of your owl box. The inside of the box should provide enough space for the owl in question to stretch its wings, which may mean that you need to do a little online sleuthing to understand the size and wingspan of the owls on your property. In addition, if you’re hoping for a box that will attract a breeding pair, you’ll need to provide extra room for them to raise their young.
At a minimum, you should expect to buy a box of at least eight cubic feet for a single owl. For a breeding pair, find a design that’s at least 24 inches deep, 18 inches tall, and 18 inches wide.
The entrance hole should be at least 6-8 inches from the floor, as the high placement prevents young owls from hopping out of the box before they’re ready. Depending on the size of the owl, you should have a hole that’s 5.5 inches or greater in diameter.
If you’re hoping for a long-lasting owl nest box, you’ll want to provide sound materials that will stand the test of time. Though it will make the box heavier and require more effort to install, exterior-grade plywood of a ¾- to 1-inch thickness provides the sturdiest design. For high-quality boxes of sturdy materials, try the options on birdinformer.com.
Though the color of the box may seem like a purely aesthetic choice, this hue also affects the internal temperature of the box. If you live in a warm area, painting the box white … Read the rest