Owls are undoubtedly some of the most majestic creatures in the world. Their big eyes, sharp claws, and hunting prowess make them the perfect predators. But even the most deadly of predators have nesting habits and need a place to call home.
For barn owls, that home is typically a nest box. Nest boxes provide these birds with a safe and secure place to raise their young. But what exactly are barn owl nest boxes? How do you build one? And what should you put inside it?
Read on to find out everything you need to know about barn owl nest boxes.
What Are Barn Owl Nest Boxes?
A barn owl nest box is exactly what it sounds like. It is a specially designed box for barn owls to nest in. Barn owls typically don’t build their own nests. Instead, they rely on pre-existing structures like caves, tree hollows or, you guessed it, nest boxes.
Nest boxes come in all shapes and sizes, but they typically have a few key features. First, they need to be big enough to fit a barn owl. Second, they need to have an opening that the owl can easily enter and exit. And finally, they need to be securely mounted so they don’t fall over or blow away in the wind.
How Do You Build Barn Owl Nest Boxes?
Building barn owl nest boxes is actually pretty simple. The most important thing is to make sure that the box is the right size. Barn owls need a lot of space. The barn owl next boxes should be at least 18 inches tall, 18 inches wide, and 36 inches deep.
As for the materials, you can use just about anything that’s sturdy and weatherproof. Plywood, Masonite and even PVC pipe are all good choices. Just make sure that the material you use is thick enough to withstand the elements and predators.
Materials for Barn Owl Nest Boxes
To build barn owl nest boxes, we suggest the following materials:
- One 4’x8′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood
- One 2’x4′ sheet of 1/2″ plywood
- One 2’x2′ sheet of 1/2″ plywood
- One 8′ length of 2″x4″ lumber
- One 4′ length of 2″x4″ lumber
- One 4′ length of 1″x4″ lumber
- One box of 1 5/8″ drywall screws
- One box of 1″ drywall screws
- One pound of 16d nails
- One quart of exterior paint or stain
Tools for Barn Own Nest Boxes
Once you’ve chosen your material, it’s time to start building. Start by cutting out the pieces for the sides, bottom and top of the box. Then, use screws or nails to attach the pieces together.
Make sure that the corners are square and there are no gaps or holes that an owl could escape from. But don’t forget about the entrance hole!
Finally, add a perch to the front of the box. This can be anything from a small branch to a piece of pipe. Just make sure that it’s securely attached and that it’s the right size for an owl to land on.
What Should You Put Inside Barn Owl Next Boxes?
The contents of barn owl nest boxes are actually pretty simple. All you need is a few inches of wood shavings or straw. That will provide the owls with a soft, comfortable place to nest.
You also need to add a few small pieces of wood or bark. These will help the owls keep their claws sharp and help them grip the sides of the box.
Finally, you need to add a few pieces of food. Barn owls typically eat small mammals like mice and voles. So, you can use dead mice or even frozen mice from the pet store. Just make sure the food is fresh and not too big for the owls to eat.
Nest Boxes: Owl Types That Inhabit It
Many types of owls call North America home. But the two most common owls that use owl nest boxes are the barn owl and the screech owl.
The barn owl is one of the most widely distributed owls in the world. They can be found on every continent except Antarctica. In North America, they’re most commonly found in the southwestern United States. Although, they can be found as far north as Canada.
American barn owls are medium-sized and have distinctive heart-shaped faces. They’re brown or gray in color with white spots on their chest and belly. They have long legs and wings, and they typically weigh between 1 and 2 pounds.
Screech owls are small owls that are found throughout North America. They’re most commonly found in the eastern United States, although they can also be found in parts of Canada and Mexico.
The screech owl is a small owl with large eyes. They’re gray or brown in color with white spots on their chest and belly. They have short legs and wings, and they typically weigh between 4 and 8 ounces.
Other Types Of Owls
Aside from the barn and screech owls, there are a few other types of nesting owls that may use owl nest boxes. These include the great horned owl, the barred owl and the long-eared owl.
The Great Horned Owl
The great horned owl is one of the largest owls in North America. They’re found throughout the continent, but they’re most commonly found in the eastern United States.
The great horned owl is a large owl with a distinctive tuft of feathers on their head. They’re brown or gray in color with white spots on their chest and belly.
The barred Owl
The barred owl is a medium-sized owl that’s found throughout North America. They’re most commonly found in the eastern United States, although they can also be found in parts of Canada and Mexico.
The barred owl is a medium-sized owl with distinct dark bars on their chest and belly. They’re brown or gray in color with white spots on their wings.
the long-eared owl
The long-eared owl is a small owl that’s found throughout North America. They’re most commonly found in the western United States, although they can also be found in parts of Canada and Mexico.
The long-eared owl is a small owl with distinctive long ears. They’re brown or gray in color with white spots on their chest and belly.
To Wrap Up
Now that you know everything you need to know about barn owl nest boxes, it’s time to put one together. Just follow the steps above and don’t forget that owl nest boxes are as important as any pet homes out there. In no time, you will have owl nest boxes that’s ready for your feathered visitors.
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An ever curious 25 year-old sports enthusiast and pet-lover.