CONSTRUCT A RAPTOR NEST BOX
Kestrels and Screech Owls, both cavity nesting raptors, will readily take to man-made nest boxes if they are available. As nesting sites for these species continue to decline due to clear cutting of forests, suburban development and altered farming methods, so too do their populations. You can lend them a hand by building and erecting nest boxes on your property. The plans are simple and the reward for investing a small amount of time is great: you may have the pleasure of watching a owl or falcon family grow and fledge in your backyard.
Please study the diagram for the proper construction. The actual measurements can vary from 8 x 8 to 10 x 10 inches (inside of box). The placement of the hole may vary from 9 to 12 in. above the floor. The size of the hole is important. When purchasing materials you need only 1 board, it should be 1" x 10" and 8' long. For the best results use wood that weathers well (cedar or pine). Do Not Paint The Inside Of The Box. Outside should be protected with a light coloured stain or paint.
Since kestrels and screech owls only nest in previously existing cavities, they do not add nesting materials. In your man made box you need to add wood shavings or soft pine needles, approximately 1 to 1 1/2" deep. do not use cedar shavings or sawdust. It may be harmful to the young. If the box cannot be placed where it is inaccessible to predators (cats, raccoon, etc.), then place a 30 inch high metal sleeve around the tree or pole. This will discourage unwelcome visitors.
When installing the box, place it 10 to 15 feet high on a pole, on a building or a tree, at the edge of a wooded area, or meadow or in the back of your yard. Place the box so the hole faces away from prevailing winds. Best results are obtained if more than one box is erected, as squirrels, starlings and sparrows will take advantage of these homes as well. Predator guards should be placed over the hole to prevent raccoons from robbing nests. These guards can be built by using 1" thick blocks of wood with 3" holes drilled out to match the boxes hole, then glued or screwed onto the box front. These help prevent the raccoons from reaching down into the box and grabbing eggs or young.The demand for cavity nesting sites is becoming seriously competitive. With increased logging occurring in forested areas as well as urban development destroying many existing wood lots there is a real shortage of nesting sites available. If you have to cut that old hollow tree down in your yard that has perhaps provided nesting sites for many birds and mammals over the years, why not please replace it with a man made nest box ? You could be helping your local wildlife.
Click the link below for further directions and designs.
Thorough examination and treatment depending on its condition is given. They receive the necessary antibiotics, fluids and nourishment.
Birds are provided with warmth, a dark and quiet place to recover over a period of time in the centre’s intensive care facilities and exercise cages.
If an x-ray or surgical consult is needed they are transferred as soon as possible to a local veterinarian for treatment.
Initially the Centre was comprised of one flight cage (36’x 12’ x 12') built by friends and family. All funds were raised locally for this endeavor. Designs for this cage were taken from Kay Mckeevers, Owl Rehabilitation and Research Foundation in Vineland, Ontario.
This project for the Hospital Clinic was started in the fall of 1996 and completed in the fall of 1999. The clinic consists of an intensive care room that has various sized small cages each equipped with a heat source, special doweled doors to protect the birds feet and feathers and special small feeding doors that prevent any bird from escaping.
Over the years the Centre has grown extensively, this is due mainly to the efforts of many volunteers and the financial support of local residents and businesses that have helped raise the necessary funds needed to build additional facilities.
Today the Centre has 20 exercise cages ranging in size from 8’x 8’ x 10” to 84’ x 20’ x 12’. The various sized cages enable birds of variant sizes or stages of recovery to recuperate outdoors and prepare them for release. We also have most recently built more rehabilitation cages and an educational wing.