Friday, 27 January 2017

Moving house

Barn owl boxes are a great way of helping this fantastic bird by providing them with a safe and secure place to nest and roost. Barn owls are also only one of the animals that love to live in these big boxes; tawny owls, stock doves, jackdaws and grey squirrels are all frequent tenants. And where the box is sited can make it much more likely who moves in - a lone tree is best for owls whereas locating a box on a woodland edge is gifting a cosy home for squirrels. One of ours was put up on the corner of a small wood. It does overlook some great habitat however it has only only ever had squirrels in and so it was time to move the box to a better place.

The box was rigged to an anchored, releasable lowering system (see below) and then unbolted from the tree. We use a socket set with a big extension so that all leverage can be exerted outside the box which makes life so much easier. The bolts were pretty darn tight but soon came loose.

 Hi-strength bowline with a forward facing bight around Scot's pine bole and with a grigri tied off.

The box is in fine fettle after 5 years out in the weather. We hiked the box across two fields and drove it to a nearby part of the farm where a lone ash tree is the perfect spot. I forgot to take a pic so here is one we put up a few weeks ago using the same false-crotch pulley system for easy hoisting. We'd forgotten the box template for marking the holes but managed just fine anyhow. Fingers crossed the newly sited box will be occupied soon!