10/17/2008

Owl box V3.0

Owl box version 3.0 is ready to roll. This year I focused on improving my squirrel determent system. I had squirrels in the box this summer, which wasn’t a big deal because they weren’t competing with the owls. Having said that, they made a mess of the inside of the box and even took my handy dandy owl perch out of the box. They did such a great job of it that I haven’t found any traces of the perch. So the short story is that they made me mad, so I added more flashing around the middle of the tree and I actually tacked it onto the box. In Owl box V2.0 there was just the 20" flashing around the top and the bottom of the box, nothing in the middle. I also added a much larger roof which has flashing on it too. The theory is that if they come from the top of the tree, they will land on the roof and either slide off or it will be harder to enter the box given the new overhang. The new roof was tacked onto the old roof and I just framed out the roof with lath and then added a small support piece in the middle. I then wrapped the roof in flashing metal. This design makes it light weight and easy to remove. To take the eye sore factor out of the metal I sprayed it with spray paint to disguise the flashing a little.

I don’t think I’ve ever really posted the dimensions of the box so here goes:
The bottom of the entry hole is just over 12 feet off the ground. The entrance hole is 3” x 3”. The floor is 8” x 8” and the box is 15” deep. The new roof is 21” by 15 ½”.

These dimensions were taken from various site and modified to my specific needs. If I ever rebuild the box I would make the box a little deeper to allow me to place a really nice big roof on it. In order not to block the entrance hole too much I had to place the roof with the longest piece across the box. If I rebuild the box I will put a 21 x 21 roof on it with more of a pitch and then have the entrance hole a little lower down so the roof doesn’t obstruct the entry. I would use the same light weight design for the larger roof and tack it onto a smaller existing roof. This makes it easier to get the box up and down the ladder as you can just take the larger roof off. That’s probably the only major change that I would recommend based on my current design. I guess it really depends on your local squirrel population.

3 comments:

Owlman said...

My wife looked at the pictures and described the new layout as an eye sore...... I just hope it works in attracting owls and keeping critters out. BTW, I really like the design of the owl box at owlcam.com, especially the relative slope and size of the roof. You can see how effective the roof is at http://www.owlcam.com/owls07_08/squrl_slide.wmv

Beverly said...

OMG...I LOVE that clip! I am plagued with squirrels and do not appreciate the little tree-rats one bit. Plus, they're eating me out of house and home. Grrrrrrr

Did I say I love that clip? I really do!!!

By the way, I'm sending it to Chris...who has tried various ways to deter the little *&%$#!s. See his Squirrel Trials in February and March of this year!

Owlman said...

Hey Beverly,

Yeah, that clip is really funny and encouraging. I am very keen to build a new box that incorporates a steep roof like that one. If I'm successful this year I'll look at a new box for 2010.

I was following the Codger's test with great interest. His results showed that the little critters can pretty much get into anything.