Barn Owl Boxes – Anyone built one and attracted an Owl?

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  • Barn Owl Boxes – Anyone built one and attracted an Owl?
  • Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    has anyone had success in attracting and Owl

    I built an 16ft x 12ft shed in horrible december weather once. I built it as fast as I could because all the crap that was supposed to be in the shed was in my house instead – so I was motivated. Ran out of wood when I was cladding it so had to leave a small gap above the door. But it was water tight enough so chucked everything in there and forgot about til the summer.

    The first time I saw a real live barn owl was the next time I opened the door when it came screaming out and almost him me in the face. Everything inside was covered in owl shit 🙂

    Premier Icon leffeboy
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    This could only be a mcmoonter thread. Could spot it from outer space

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
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    I put one up in 2002. It has been empty ever since. The last time I saw barn owls here in any numbers was during the Foot and Mouth crisis in 2001.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    I’m thinking of building one as a Birthday present for a friend.

    The Barn Owl Trust has plans for an indoor and outdoor box. Before I commit to either, has anyone had success in attracting and Owl after building a box. There are Owls around here, it would be nice to create a box from where we could view their comings and goings.

    Premier Icon thepurist
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    Perfect timing Mr Moont – we’re just thinking of adding one to a stable block next to a chunk of woodland. We stuck a tawny owl box up in the woods last year and monitored it with a wildlife cam, had one chick reared successfully this spring and a tree creeper nest in the gap between the owl box and the oak its on.

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
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    Yup, got one at the bottom of Mum’s garden in the wood.
    She’s had one living there for a couple of years now..

    Premier Icon fatmax
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    Brilliant stuff!

    Premier Icon joat
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    Think one trick is to put a bit of bedding in the box, it doesn’t have to be very fancy, as they naturally take over other bird’s nests regardless whether they were using it or not.

    gavinpearce
    Member

    We have just put two into a barm conversion. It’s not yet finished so owls won’t turn up but they are still around. There are some key aspects to location such as height and clear flight path to the box. I think the barn owl trust has all that info but if not I’m sure a local ecologist would give you some advice.

    psychobiker
    Member

    We have a hooter living somewhere close to us. Drives me up the wall some nights with its twit twooing.

    Would like to make a box though.

    Premier Icon thepurist
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    Psycho that’ll be a tawny, or a pair if you’re hearing a twit and a twoo. Barn owls sound like an angry cat.

    nick1962
    Member

    We have a hooter living somewhere close to us. Drives me up the wall some nights with its twit twooing.

    +1
    We have a twit twoo right outside our house most nights, which was nice at first but iritates eventually but there’s a screaming angry cat one that drives us potty too.Should have guessed when we moved here as the adjacent road is called Owler’s Walk.When the owls stop I get a couple of hours sleep then the cockadoodle doos start the its the cawing hooded crows…. 👿

    psychobiker
    Member

    Thanks purist, its was awesome the first time I heard it, just wears thin after a while. We have a huge hawthorn hedge next to the house and always wondered if it perches there of a night.

    hamishthecat
    Member

    I’ve several times had to lean out of the bedroom window and shout at the bastard little owl that sits on the telephone pole to make it shut up. Joys of living in the country

    munrobiker
    Member

    We have a tawny near us and I can’t ever imagine tiring of hearing it! It’s not been as active this year which is a shame, it may have moved.

    We have a little owl in the vicinity too but I have seen that rather than beard it.

    bear-uk
    Member

    We have a screeching owl that wakes us up during the night.
    Little darling.
    Again the joys of living near woodland.

    timber
    Member

    We have an indoor box in the barn we use as the timber store. Was initially occupied, but left around about when we had to move it to create a bat roost as mitigation for consolidating and re-roofing the listed grain drier that was about to collapse in. Owl now seems to be resident in the grain drier building, bats are back in the basement. Owl box now occupied by crows that use the timber store as flight nursery.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    Inspired by your responses I built an indoor box using the Barn Owl Trust plans.

    I think I’ll try an outdoor one too. Or should that be twit twoooo?

    Right, off to get it hung up before it gets dark

    That looks brilliant.

    tillyfishes
    Member

    Put one up in a perfect location 6 months ago…..still waiting for an owl!

    Premier Icon ratadog
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    No box, but this year a barn owl family moved in to our barn via an old dovecot entrance and raised 2 owlets. Wonderful to see them ghosting in and out at twilight and may try and put a camera up there over winter.

    Premier Icon thepurist
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    Nice work. Turns out our stable block isn’t really suitable (according to barn owl trust anyway) so we’re going to build an outdoor one. We were scoping out suitable trees today.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    I had a quiet afternoon so thought I’d have a go at an outdoor Owl box too loosely styled on the Barn Owl Trust plans. I have some left over zinc with which to cap the roof and some corrugated tin to weather proof the sides.

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
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    Ooooh how exciting.
    A local farmer put one up above his yard. It attracted a barn owl in the same year.

    Please keep us posted, I love owls.

    scud
    Member

    We have a few barn owls where i live in West Norfolk, when i ride into work about 6am, one will follow my path, but always breaks off at the same field boundary.

    My wife’s aunt and uncle own a big farm here and rescue owls, i remember going into there big farm house kitchen once and feeling eyes on the back of my head, and they had a barn owl with a broken wing in a peg bag hanging near the Aga to keep warm, happy as larry and just watching people as they came in and out

    mcmoonter
    Member

    I only had an hour or so this afternoon. I’ve clad the roof and sides in reclaimed zinc and corrugated tin.

    I need to make some sort of bracket to fix it to a tree, seal it all up and paint it.

    I have some bitumous paint, once it has dried its pretty odourless. Do you think it would freak an Owl?

    Premier Icon leffeboy
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    oh ffs mc, only you would style an owl box 🙂

    class

    Premier Icon thepurist
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    We used sadolin on the tawny box, outside only of course, and that didn’t seem to bother them. Remember to stick some old leaves and twigs inside, they don’t want it too fresh. )(awaits moonters picture of an artisan mini log pile artfully arranged inside the owl box)

    A bit of drainage on the landing tray or is it so they can wash their feet?

    pacef8
    Member

    All very good but without a roost pirch to land on they are likely to go elswhere.
    The floor inside needs to be a foot down inside to avoid the young fledging too early .
    They all need to be mounted easterly facing away from setting sun and a clear view to view would be a good idea as you dont want any squirrels getting in as well.

    A volunteer at a barn owl trust

    curtains
    Keep out the drafts and stop the nosey neighbours peering in
    Its what every self respecing midddle class Barn Owl box is rocking these days, in paisley .

    Premier Icon bruneep
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    I just see an upright piano carcass

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
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    Now who do we know that is the resident stw curtain maker?

    mcmoonter
    Member

    I gave it a coat of paint and hauled it high into a Beech tree. I’ve cleared away any branches that may impede their flight path. It’s south east facing and it overlooks a wild garden, some grassland and some woods. I’d like to be able to see them come and go from the studio.

    Premier Icon thepurist
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    Is that an echium in the 2nd pic? They never grew well here.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    [/quote]Is that an echium in the 2nd pic? They never grew well here.

    Yes, they seem to grow better outside at 600 feet in a gale than they do in the greenhouse.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    Over the weekend I made a field stone and quarry chip path.

    cooligan
    Member

    A friend who is a professional wildlife photographer is building me an owl box – he has quite a bit of experience nesting barn owls but I’m aiming for tawneys. I can put you in touch if you want to pick his brains…

    The biggest problem I’m going to have is dissuading jackdaws from using the box, so if anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears!

    I’ve just finished building a nesting habitat for kingfishers, so I’m nervously awaiting next March to find out if they’re going to use it…
    🙂

    Premier Icon thepurist
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    So we weren’t quite as quick as McMoonter but at last it’s up – cobbled together from some ply, and old chest of drawers and some pond liner to finish the roof

    mcmoonter
    Member

    That’s a great looking Owl box.

    I asked the guys at my local RSPB reserve when I might expect to an Owl looking to nest, they said March.

    I hear a mix of Barn and Tawny Owls among the trees and Yew hedges here. I’m keeping my fingers crossed to attract a pair.

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