Nest box photo by Elizabeth von Radics
We have high hopes that come nesting season Eleanor will occupy the nest box (and evict the Scrub-jays who are the current tenants). This of course presumes that she can find a mate. Barred Owls can interbreed with Northern Spotted Owls, but both species are rare in the Rogue Valley.

We looked at many great nest box plans on the Web and incorporated our favorite features into our own design (available for download soon!).

We are particularly indebted to Shaw Creek Bird Supply 
for their schematics and to Owlbox Productions for lots of good advice.

Eleanor's nest box was designed, built, and installed by my 81-year-old father, Carl Ebbesen.

Click here to see the very rough plans Carl worked from.

All photos by Elizabeth von Radics

Box interior includes an owlet ladder (above).

Carl also drilled ten 1-inch holes in the base for ventilation (not shown).

Fitting the cedar shingles

Hardware included screw eyes for the hoisting rope and 5-inch screws for mounting to the tree.
The hinged door (above left) enables you to clean out the box after each nesting season.

We used plastic sheeting (above center) under the shingles for additional weatherproofing.

The mounting board on the tree (right) measures 7 by 32 inches.

The finished nest box (far right) includes hooks to hold a perch below the opening. We wired a branch to the hooks.

Nesting materials were timothy hay and cedar chips.
I put the nesting materials in as the last step.

Scaffolding was a must for working that high up. The bottom of the nest box is 20 feet off the ground.
Finished nest box=
Eric hoisted the box with a rope. The finished nest box weighed about 40 pounds.

Now it's up to Eleanor to find a mate and move from her front yard perch (below) to the back yard nest box (right).

Ready for occupancy. Breeding can occur anytime between March and August.

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© 2008 Elizabeth von Radics. All rights reserved.
This page last updated March 5, 2008.