By Carol Buie-Jackson ~
Maybe it’s because of Halloween…
Maybe it’s because the owls will start getting more active…
Maybe it’s the October chill that’s coming (fingers crossed)…
Whatever it is, October puts us in the mood for OWLS!
And we hope these pictures, from one of our customers, will help put you in the mood, too!
Dr. Steven Genkins bought an owl house from us last year and was generous enough to share some of the wonderful photographs he was able to get of the owlets.
Fall is the time to install owl boxes. They are large birds, so they will start families in late winter. Fall is the time they start defining territories, looking for mates and looking for good nesting sites.
They cannot excavate their own cavities, like a woodpecker, so they look for existing cavities in large trees. You can give them a cavity in your garden with a large owl box.
Great Horned Owls are open-nesters and will usually take over an old hawk’s nest, but Barred Owls–the most common owl here–use cavities. You can buy one (from your favorite bird store, of course), or google for barred owl box plans and make one yourself.
The best time to install the barred owl house is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you hang them up too early, the squirrels will use it as a nesting box for their fall litter. Too late, and the owls may select another spot.
These are large raptors who like to be high in the tree, so the box should be installed at least 15′-20′ up. If you are unable to do that yourself, we have an installer who can do it for you.
Since we are celebrating OWLS in OCTOBER, look for special pricing on owl merchandise throughout the store!
About the author: Bird House on the Greenway on Rea Road and Wildology at Waverly are owned and operated by Carol Buie-Jackson and Jay Jackson. Both have been avid birders and wildlife enthusiasts for more than 30 years and are more than willing to share what they know about the local birding community. You can contact Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image by Michael Hoyt.