Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Nesting Box for Screech Owls (Fun Idea #1)

I have set myself the goal of doing lots of fun educational things this year in our homeschool.  I find that as the kids get older it gets all too easy to let the fun educational stuff slide in favor of bookwork and getting things done. And yet, it is the fun stuff that really infuses our homeschool with joy and creates the memories that I want us all to have later on. I am not so sure we will remember math sheets with such fondness, after all!

I will hopefully be posting these regularly in order to hold myself accountable. So without further ado, here is our Fun Idea #1.

We recently saw a birds of prey demonstration that featured a tiny little screech owl. My kids were very taken with it-and I admit, so was I. They are just so darned cute!

The presenter mentioned that it was quite easy to build a screech owl nesting box and help these little critters out. They like to nest in tree cavities, but since there aren't as many dead trees around as there used to be, it can be difficult for them to find appropriate nesting spots.  So that's just what we did, following directions on the Audubon site. Incidentally, that site has lots of ideas and I have it bookmarked for future reference.

The kids were able to help out quite a bit with this project and it only took a bit more than an hour.

The box will be hung on a tree 10-12 feet off the ground. Apparently it is important to hang it in a seldom-trafficked area, as the parents can get a little "testy" when there are babies in the box. Can't wait to see if any little owls move in!

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