Give a hoot

Since building the fortress, I’ve learned some hard lessons here on the land. Per instance, gophers are not the only animals that think my garden bed is a all you can eat buffet. We also have deer and bunnies. As cute as all these creatures are…

insult to injury

insult to injury

Yup, the rascals not only ate almost all the foliage, this little guy decided to dig himself a hole in the bed and leave a “gift” at the door. As secure as the bottom of the garden bed is,

failed breaking and entering attempt

failed breaking and entering attempt

they figured out there’s a large opening at the top… (yeah I know)

 

So since I’ve been getting ready for a PDC (Permaculture Design Course) starting this weekend, I’m looking at it this way. I have an abundance of small rodents, which means there is a deficiency of predators. To me the obvious choice was one of my favorite animals, the barn owl. This most beneficial predator nests throughout the year and often nests in the same site. One such owl was seen delivering sixteen mice, three gophers, a rat and a squirrel to its hungry brood, and all withing 25 minutes!

Now you may ask yourself. How to get more owls to come? We already established the abundance of food sources, maybe we need additional nesting sites. How do we do this? Well, apparently it’s just as simple as building a wooden box and making some strategic holes in it.

And then, I just find a perfect sized box that made the project much simpler. All I needed to do was drill a couple of drainage holes, an entrance one, find a lid, and put some bedding.

Owl box with entrance hole and straw bed

Owl box with entrance hole and straw bed

Erin and Serenity decorating the box

Erin and Serenity decorating the box

Every project needs a little art added, don’t you think?

Finished owl box, rear view

Finished owl box, rear view

Finished owl box, front view

Finished owl box, front view

Owl box final resting place

Owl box final resting place

Now I just hope to attract an owl soon, because my plants are getting mauled. Worst case, I hear bees take residence in these some times. Keeping my fingers crossed…