The Origins of my Owl Box

 

In 2006, my dad and I made a tawny owl box to be put in the oak tree in our garden. We had previously seen and heard tawny owls around our house and so my love of owls spurred on this idea. The box appeared to stay empty and still for a few years, until a family of squirrels took it up as their drey, bringing up kits and giving us the wonderful opportunity to see the miniature squirrels exploring our garden and squeezing through the mesh on the squirrel-proof bird feeder! However the next year some pigeons decided this would also be a nice home so set up residence and disappointed us to see the bird-like figures so unowl-like…

But to our delight on a morning in 2010, I unsuspectedly peered out of the kitchen window to see a mottled brown figure crouched in the opening of the owl box! Running for binoculars I observed the beautiful tawny owl proudly protecting her new home. After a couple of weeks we saw a young owlet clinging to the edge of the box as its siblings hopped behind it, for a glance into the big wide world. A few weeks later and I watched as the last fully grown owlet leapt out to begin branching.

Although we continued to hear the owls around our house as they assured us that their territory would remain the same. But with no owlets to occupy the nest it remained empty. Thrilled by this event which had arisen I asked for a camera to be put in the box for Christmas, ready to record any owls which might have happened to pass it way again. The camera I received was brilliant and uses infra-red to film at all times. It is constantly plugged into an old TV monitor and when something happens we can put it on the computer to take pictures and begin recording. It also does motion detection so if we leave it on, it will start recording when it senses motion in the box – a great devise for recording at night! In this way, over the last couple of years, and hopefully to continue into the future, we can observe the life of a tawny owl being revealed!