A New Barn Owl Box for Yew View

Since we have seen a barn owl regularly hunting along the bottom of the garden at Yew View, we have been keen to offer as many opportunities for breeding as possible. We already have one barn owl box up, but I was keen to get another, of a different design. When Tom Firmstone (who made my Bird Snack Bar) offered to take on the challenge, I leapt at the chance. Tom had found a plan for a pretty impressive barn owl box and he’s always wanted to have a go at making it…. it was a pretty ambitious. design!

This week, Tom came over to Yew View to deliver and help me get this box up on a platform we had originally built for a kestrel box. This kestrel box had broken and we’d had little interest so I felt we could take it down and replace it with this new box. The platform is right at the bottom of the garden, near the river and close to where the owl has been seen hunting.

This clip was filmed just before Christmas and is just a few metres from the new box location…

Tom had designed the box so we could part construct it on site. His car was full of it!


We carried all the bits down to the bottom of the garden, removed the kestrel box and prepared to get the box up. It is a beautiful design, with a large terrace all the way around for owlets and adult to sit on. It has a main nesting chamber and then a smaller, roosting chamber at the rear; perfect place to escape the kids!


I had already set the camera up on the system, so I could see it on my iCatcher app on my phone. This means I could get the camera in the correct position in the roof so we could see the entire base of the box. I fixed it on the little platform that Tom had put in the apex of the roof.


It took us a couple of hours to get the main part of the box up on the platform and to screw it all into place, ensuring it was secure.


None of our ladders seems to be the right size and, at one point, we had 5 ladders!

We then screwed the roof into place and it started to look more like a barn owl box! Finally, the terrace panels slid into place along the buttons that had been pre-positioned. Once they were screwed into place, we were all able to stand back and admire this spectacular box!

 

If I was a barn owl, I would definitely move in!

I was delighted this morning, when I checked the camera on my phone, to see an owl had visited; not a barn owl, but a tawny…. it’s a start!

A massive thank you to Tom for making this fabulous box and to Pete who helped us install it.