This nesting box may also be used by Barred Owls.
Suitable Nestbox Size: ~ 24 - 25 inches tall. No perches at the entrance holes as they would aid predators.
Floor Dimensions: About 12" x 12".
Material to be used: Red Cedar (more durable than other wood material), rough cut boards or exterior-grade plywood at least 1/2" thick. Unpainted. Ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof. Although some experts disagree with the notion that ventilation openings are needed at all. Please refer to this article for further information. This may also depend on location of nest box, exposure to direct sun as well as material used to build the nest box.
Entrance Hole: About 6 - 7 inches in diameter, located about 17 - 18 inches above the floor.
Roof: Hinged, secured with shutter hooks. Sloped down, overlapping on the sides and the front reduces exposure to rain and makes it more difficult for predators to get to the chicks or eggs.
Hardware: Best to use corrosion resistant, stainless steel and dichromate plated screws
Predator Guard: An inverted metal cone attached below the nextbox will provide some protection against predators.
Mount either on a pole or in a tree at a height of at least 15 - 30 feet, in forested areas, often near bodies of water or swamps.
The entrance hole in particular should be protected from the elements as much as possible.
Position nest far enough from roads, paths or trails to minimize disturbance.
Take nest box down after each breeding season, and repair and sanitize before reusing.
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