Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Screech Owl - Kestrel Box

My eight year old son, Kyle, is a Cub Scout. He had a couple of requirements to complete to earn his Wolf badge which included learning about and using some tools and building a bird house. I myself have been itching to make a few bird houses of various types to put up around Avimor to see what would nest in them...simply to satisfy my curiosity.

This last Saturday morning, Kyle and I went over to Grandpa Mortensen's home in Meridian, to get the help of a woodworking pro and the use of his cornucopia of tools. We built a Western Screech Owl / American Kestrel box using plans from this website.

My dad had some left-over hickory wood that he joined to give us enough material. It is only 3/4" rather than the 1-1/2" material the plans called for, but I think the hardwood should be durable enough.Here are photos of three generations of Mortensen's having a great time working together:

Avimor co-worker and friendly neighbor, Shon Parks, joined me in risking life and limb to hang the nest box in the tree. It was far more precarious that I had planned on and my knees are still shaking from doing it, but here are photos of Shon and I installing the box:

We placed it in the tall cottonwoods at the southwest corner of Foothills Heritage Park with the hopes of having a nesting Western Screech Owl. Kestrels prefer to have the box on a pole out in the open. Doesn't it look inviting?
We hope to make several more nest boxes of all types during the winter...again, just to satisfy my curiosity.

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