Our instructions on erecting the owl nest boxes were:
12 foot or taller ladder
30 foot quarter inch rope
electric screw driver
three to four-inch screws
dead leaves or wood shavingsWe were to locate the box near an open area where mice, voles, etc are likely to be. Also the stand of trees was not to be too dense. The first box we put up is located in the huge rock pile that runs in a strip across our field...the strip of rocks and trees cut our large field in half. In the picture above, you can see John's son G climbing the ladder (he was the lucky one that had to do almost all the work), John at the bottom of the ladder, and DIL (daughter in law) holding the nesting box. Cassie is there sniffing at the box that's holding the wood shavings.Here are DIL and Miss M holding one of the nesting boxes. The boxes are quite large and heavy. The local college makes the boxes in one of the woodworking courses. The boxes are given to the people who volunteer for this project...we even had them delivered right to the door!The rope is used to pull the box up into the tree. We put the rope around a tree branch. At the end of the rope is a stick. You put the stick in the owl hole, and pull it up....saves someone from having to climb the ladder holding the big, heavy box.Here you see G putting the box in place on the tree. The box is screwed in place, and then filled with wood shavings (or leaves if you have them, but all our leaves are covered in at least a foot of snow). Once the box is approx 1/3 filled with shavings and/or leaves, the front flap is lowered and screwed into place.Voila! Our first box is in place. The photo below shows John and Miss M heading back towards the house. This gives you an idea of the distance between the rock pile where we mounted the first box and the house.We located the second box on the other side of the house, down the hill towards the "lower" field.You can see the roof of our house through the tree limbs.We went through the process again, and our 2 boxes are now in place.The last step was to go out with our GPS and get the exact coordinates of the boxes to send to Randy Lauff, the person running the project. This photo is taken from our house, down towards the first box.
Rumour is that the Boreal Owls are currently in a bidding war to see who gets to move in. We're ready!