The mystical nature of owls has earned them great reverence among humans. Most cultures view owls as wise observers of society due to their quiet and mysterious demeanor.
It is no wonder, therefore, that many people are fascinated with the prospect of sharing their backyard with a bird whose character is likened to that of a sage.
There are also people who share their backyards with owls for practical reasons; these birds are carnivorous and can help control the population of rodents and other pests.
Nonetheless, whether you are a bird lover or looking to form a symbiotic relationship with these birds, you must learn how to build an owl box properly, as owls can be choosy of their abodes.
The following DIY plans should assist you in that quest.
The barred owl resides in the eastern and northwestern regions of the United States. This owl can be either brown or gray and does not have feather tufts on its head. Barred owls prefer large, open areas, as these allow them enough space for hunting, breeding, and nesting.
When choosing a location for your barred owl box, look for one that is dense with trees, though the specific tree that you will place the owl box should be open to allow for easy access. Additionally, it should be close to a water source, which should be between 30 and 200 feet away.
Do not place the box on a tree that is directly adjacent to a water source, as the owl droppings might fall and contaminate the water, or the hatchlings might fall and drown.
Also, ensure that a barred owl box is at least 100 feet away from your home, as human activity can be off-putting to these birds.
A barred owl box can easily be made from softwood, such as pine or cider. However, consider utilizing wood stock rough-cuts on both the interior and exterior to give the birds a gripping surface.
Since you will be hanging the barred owl box about 20 feet off the ground, ensure that you have someone to help you carry it up and harness it.
This DIY Plan should help you construct and tie-up your barred owl box.
Screech owls inhabit nearly every region in the United States. However, they prefer mature woodlands even though you can also find them in urban areas. These owls are among the smallest of their species, with a height of 10 inches and a wingspan of 24 inches.
Screech owls are primarily nocturnal hunters.
These owls do not make their own nests and instead, rely on natural tree cavities or those made by woodpeckers. This is why an owl box can be such an enticing habitat prospect for them.
However, the location of the tree where you will hang the owl box matters. Even though screech owls are not particularly averse to human activity, they can be territorial of their nests, and therefore, it is best to hang the nesting box on a tree that is not close to walkways.
Additionally, screech owls do not collect nesting material, which means that you will have to place a layer of pine shavings at the bottom of the box to help protect their eggs. Place the nesting box about 30 feet off the ground.
Follow this DIY guide to construct your screech owl box.
Barn owls are among the most popular owl species in the United States and can be found anywhere apart from the woodlands. Nonetheless, their numbers have reduced drastically due to habitat loss as a result of cutting down trees.
Barn owls do not make their own nests and rely on cavities in trees for breeding and nesting. By making a barn owl box, you will be aiding in the conservation of these birds.
However, constructing a barn owl nest requires ingenuity, as it needs to be spacious enough to accommodate up to 18 hatchlings while being small enough to prevent bigger owls from accessing them.
Since barn owls prefer to nest indoors, especially in barns, you should consider placing your owl box inside a building. The ideal shelter for a barn owl box should be at least 12 feet high, with an opening or hole that is at least 9 feet high to allow the bird to enter and exit without hassle.
Also, ensure to place the owl box in a location where the bird can see it through the opening in the building.
This DIY plan should help you in those efforts.
Constructing an owl box is an incredibly altruistic endeavor, as you will be providing a habitat to birds that typically do not make their own nests. As their natural habitat continues to dwindle, owls are having a difficult time finding breeding and nesting grounds, and this has resulted in a significant decrease in their numbers.
The DIY plans in this article should help you create a home for common owl species. Which one inhabits your area? Let us know!
Featured Image Credit: dennis crowley, Flickr
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!