To Wit To Woo
Make your own owl house and entice a pair of these captivating creatures into your garden
The hoot of an owl is one of the most evocative, romantic, and possibly hair-raising, sounds of the night. I grew up with the
¿ on in life our family home was frequently serenaded by the magical duet of African Wood Owls, a sound that to this day
" # $ % # % $& ' at the diverse cultural beliefs associated with them. In Ancient Greece, for example, owls were seen as symbols of good fortune, and associated with Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom. But just up the road, the Romans regarded owls as omens of death, and of defeat to their armies. These negative connotations were mirrored in places as far apart as Arabia, West Malaysia and Central Africa, and of course in some of our local cultures. ( # # % ) the rodent population – a great reason for popping an owl house in a tree, and giving a deserving owl couple also the chance to bless you with wisdom and fertility. * & % # theirs. Both Spotted Eagle-Owls and Barn Owls are common residents in ) ) % ) # & % # # # % them move in. The design used here is for Barn Owls. Spotted Eagle-Owls need ) & #
You will need
SA pine cut to the following dimensions:
10 x 500mm x 144mm x 20mm (back, front and base) 7 x 392mm x 144mm x 20mm (sides)
4 x 600mm x 144mm x 20mm (roof)
2 x 432mm x 32mm x 32mm (short side frame) 2 x 570mm x 32mm x 32mm (long side frame) 1 x 200mm x 32mm x 32mm (landing perch)
1 x 600mm x 32mm x 32mm (mounting cleat) 100 x 4.5mm x 40mm cut screws outdoor wood sealant
4 x 100mm nails
4 x 75mm or longer screws
Tools Jigsaw, cordless drill/driver, 4mm and 10mm wood drill bits, circular saw/cut-off saw/hand saw, hammer
NOTE The dimensions of this owl house are 500mm x 432mm x 572mm, more or less. These were dictated by the dimensions of the planks we used, and based on the 500mm x 400mm dimensions that were recommended to us. BUT don’t worry if your owl box is slightly different in size – very few owls use tape measures when scouting for a new place to raise their young.
COST About R1 000 using SA pine from a hardware store. If you use other timber this will obviously affect the price, and recycled wood is much cheaper..
DIFFICULTY 2 out of 5
TIME 3 hours, plus a few minutes a day over 3 days for sealing. An assistant isn’t necessary for the construction, but you’ll need some help when you hang the owl house.
Gray Stockil-Smith keeps an eye on the owl house, waiting for a resident to move in. Sage the Jack Russell isn’t too sure an owl in their garden is such a good idea.