PROVIDING AN OWL NESTING BOX

If you have the facilities and the environment is right for the Owls, erecting a nesting box for those species that are known to use them - Barn Owls, Tawny Owls and Little Owls - will serve a very useful function in providing suitable accommodation in which Owls can raise their young safely and securely.

When built from the right materials, artificial nestboxes are likely to be better designed, better built and able to withstand the rigours of weather, as well if not better than their natural counterparts. They can also be sited close to the all-important recognised prey sources - this will prove especially beneficial in winter, when any resurgence of the owl population is most likely to suffer due to the lack of food.

Regarding materials, for all exterior boxes it is necessary to choose marine grade plywood or other robust timber that will weather well. Do not use CCA pressure-treated timber or tropical hardwoods. Join the sections together with softwood battens fixed inside the box. Preservative can extend the life of the box, but only apply it to the outside and only use selected water-based preservatives which are known to be safe for animals. It is essential to drill several drainage holes to the bottom of each box to enable it to remain dry inside.

As owls do not build their own nests inside a box and cannot nest on bare boards, placing a 1” (2-3 cm) layer of woodchips or similar material (but not straw) in the box is a preferential option, though owls will lay eggs on top of their own absorbent pellet material.

Nestboxes should be installed by November to give the best chance of success the following year, although it may take several years before a new box is used.

Barn Owl Boxes••••• Tawny Owl Boxes•••••Little Owl Boxes


Click Here to find out more about building and siting nestboxes
with our free booklet “Saving Britain’s Owls”