So in the last blog post you saw how I, or rather my Dad, built a nest box for a Little owl. Now the box has been sitting around in the garden shed for a few weeks so with a break in the weather I headed out to install it on some local farmland with the help of my trusty assistant, my girlfriend !
Originally the box was a plain beige so I decided to give it a paint job. The dark brown colour would help it blend in with the tree trunk and not make it too to unwelcome inhabitants such as Grey squirrels. As well as painting the box I also screwed some thick tree bark to the front to make it look a bit more natural and to make the entrance hole feel more like a hollowed out tunnel on a tree.
After ‘doing up’ the nest box it was ready to be installed. Before I set off I placed a layer of bark chippings inside the nest box. Owls tend to make a neat depression in the substrate in which to lay their eggs. Now I am not expecting any Little Owls this year as it is a bit late in the season but it’s always good to make the house look fresh for any prospecting residents !
With the nest box strapped onto the tree I headed up to then secure it in place with the drill. Having a long ladder was essential in order to reach a suitable height for the nest box.
Having secured the nest box it was time to put up the trail camera opposite the nest box entrance. By using a trail camera I am able to monitor the nest box with minimal disturbance over long periods of time. It also enables me to see what other species are taking an interest in the new house on the block. With the help of my girlfriend we managed to get the ladder in place and after a few attempts in order to get the trail camera in the right place ready to record any movement outside the nest box.
My fingers are firmly crossed in the hope of Little Owls but the reality is that my designer home will most likely be occupied by grey squirrels this year. At least the box is not sitting in the shed and is now out in the wild so I am sure we will see some action on the trail camera. I can’t wait to go back in a few weeks to check out the camera and see what species have come to investigate the nest box.