Friday, 20 February 2015

Sponsor an Owl baskets go up at Bowhill!

Six new superb Long-eared owl baskets ready for go! 

Six lucky owls now have a cosy place to nest, and we will be back later in the Spring to monitor and ring under license any chicks. The young chicks look adorable - see the top right image at the top of the Blog - such gorgeous bright orange eyes! Long-eared owls do not build their own nests and look for old crow nests to lay their eggs in.

Michael Paton, Seasonal Ranger at Bowhill House and Country Estate set in motion an idea for Sponsored Owl Nests and has created a very nice project that we hope will have some very happy sponsors knowing they have created a home for one of our most amazing and yet most secretive owl species, the Long-eared owl. For further details of the sponsorship programme, contact Michael here.

I arrived to help Michael (in green) and Rory Powel (the one cutting up old coffee bean sacks), Bowhill's full-time range, to make the wicker baskets a little more snug and tempting.

Adding the first layer of sticks    A happy Rory!                 

The baskets each got a lining of sacking, some rings of sticks and twigs and a turf or earthy lining.

After an hour of making up the baskets, we headed off out into the wilds of the estate. Up in an area Rory'd had his eye on we found some excellent trees with good hunting ground for the owls. 

5 of the nests we placed in tall (and prickly!) Sitka trees

The final basket we placed high up in a tall Scot's Pine in an inviting fork. I climbed up, hauled up the basket, and fixed it in place.

And I reckon it's a winner!