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BUILDING BIRD HOUSES FOR BARN OWLS

Study the drawing below for proper construction. The sides are first fastened to the front. The back and bottom are attached afterwards. If a top is used, it should be put on after the box is installed.

Use one 4' x 8'sheet of plywood. Be sure to use exterior if the box is to be placed outdoors. Space about 9 drain holes, l/4 to l/2 inch in the bottom board. Since barn owls do not bring nest material to their nests, cover the bottom with 1 to 2 inches of wood shavings or pine straw

DO NOT PAINT THE INSIDE OF THE BOX.

Make sure upon completion of the box that no nails are protruding out of the wood that would cause injury to the inhabitants. Barn Owls really do prefer to nest in buildings if possible. Boxes should be secured firmly to a stud high on the supporting structure walls, approximately 2/3rds the distance between the floor and the ceiling. This gives owls easy access to the opening and protection from predators like raccoons, snakes, and cats. A window, hole, or ventiliation shaft will give owls unhampered movement to and from the structure.
The nest box will also work when wired high in a large tree placed away from prevailing winds. When placing the box outside, install a 30 inch high metal sleeve around the base of the tree to prevent predators from climbing up to the box. Rural areas provide the best sites in which to place the box. This includes open grasslands, crop fields, and where grain spillage results in high rodent populations. Heavily wooded areas are not good either because of great horned owl predation.*

*Information and graphics provided by World Bird Sanctuary.


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