Creating an Attractive Owl House
Placing an owl house on your property can help attract these useful birds. If you live on a large property in a semi-rural area, or a very woody suburban area, and you have a certain type of owl in your area, then you might be able to attract these birds to live on your property by building the type of shelter that owls like. The type of owl in your area will determine the size and type of owl house that you should build. If you are trying to attract barn owls, then you will need a bigger owl house. If tiny screech owls are more common in your area, then the owl house should be smaller.
What are the benefits of having an owl tenant?
There are several reasons why people like having owls on their properties. First, owls are beautiful solitary creatures whose nightly hooting has a deep appeal to our sense of internal peace. If you have ever heard a hooting barn owl in the deep of a summer night, you know how wonderfully plaintive such calls can be.
On a more practical level, if you have a garden with a rodent problem, an owl can be a great solution. Owls prey on other nocturnal creatures such as mice. Their excellent eyesight allows them to pinpoint these creatures and make a nice morsel of them.
Owls are also territorial and have been known to chase away screeching crows.
In addition, a number of folktales and legends consider the owl to be a symbol of good luck for a place.
Choosing the Right Spot for an Owl House
Although owls are okay with being near to human habitations, they are not particularly fond of interacting directly with humans. They are nocturnal creatures, which means that humans and creatures don’t tend to be awake and about at the same times. During the day, owls don’t like disturbances around their nest, just as you probably don’t like it when you hear the local cat getting into your garbage cans on the night before garbage collection.
Therefore, you should look for a spot on your property that doesn’t get a lot of activity and that is preferably rather woody. Barn owls, do in fact like barns and other buildings, so long as they are relatively quiet in during the day.
Making the Owl House
Although some people claim that plastic works just as well, wood is a much better material from which to fashion an owl house. The general rule for dealing any type of wild animal is to try to keep things as close to how they are in nature as possible. Therefore, the ideal owl shelter is one made from a wood similar to that of the trees in the area. For a large owl, like a barn owl, you will want to make it up to half a yard in size, while little screech own prefers a cozier abode of less than a foot.
The hole in the house should be round, to mimic the hole you might find in a tree, and you want to make sure it is big enough to fit your owl. (Although, in the case of the screech owl you don’t want to make it so big that a bigger bird might drive him out.)
Be sure to position the shelter in a tree up high in an area where the owl has easy passages to fly away. Never place the owl house flat on the ground or put it in a difficult to access place. The owl is likely to feel either placement is a trap or not recognize it as a home at all.
If you do a good job, you soon might be hearing the nocturnal hootings of your new feathered tenant.