Monday, 17 February 2014

First box build of the year!

So far 11 boreal owl boxes are ready to be placed just 2 days into the building process. The goal this season is somewhere around the  40-50+ range. The boxes we build out of 10"x48" boards of knotty pine. We use black painted screws so they do not rust and we place the screws so the front is able to hinge open for cleaning and check-ups. This season we have tried a slightly smaller design which allows us to make more boxes. The dimensions  of our boxes this season are as follows:

Back- 20"
Top- 12"
Sides(3)- 16"
Bottom- 7.5"


The hole size we use is roughly 4" but you can make them slightly smaller if you don't have a 4" circular saw or a jig-saw.


The finishing touches on our boxes consist of sanding down the entrance hole and pre-drilling some holes to attach the box to a tree as this is hard to do when your twenty feet up a tree. Finally we add 3-4 inches of wood shavings (NOT sawdust) and that's it, the box is ready to be placed.
When we go to place our boxes we do so always before the end of march because by that time the owls are already searching for nest sites. Look for thick stands of trees with openings or cut-overs near by which is where the owls will most likely hunt. We try and place our boxes as high up as we can but in our first few years we had most of our boxes fairly close to the ground 7-8 feet. This year we are aiming to get the boxes 10-15 feet up as we think it may increase the chances occupancy.

So far we have 22 boxes out across the island so if all goes as planed we can build more then that this season.

We would like to thank the many people who help manage or observe our boxes for us in the provincial parks and also people who have suggested sites to place boxes. Let's make this the season we get some action in our boxes!

Below are a few shots of some resident Common Goldeneye in CBS, they seldom come close enough for interesting images but i like the look of these.

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