Building a Nesting Box for Barn Owls

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Learn how to build a nesting box to welcome barn owls into your garden- it's easier than you think!

This nesting box is just one of many in our series on building animal shelters, designed to help you welcome biodiversity into your home. Take a look at our other videos for more inspiration!

This simple tutorial video will give you step-by-step instructions showing you how you can make your very own nesting box for barn owls. This project provides an accessible and hands-on way of teaching children to respect and care for wildlife whilst learning some basic woodworking skills.

Voice-over by volunteer Mollie Keane

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DanBernal - Sikana
DanBernal
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In this video, you will learn how to build a nesting box for barn owls.

You will need:

Seven planks of untreated wood, screws or nails, a metal hinge at least 20 cm (7.9 inches) long, and dried leaves.

You will also need:

a clamp, a tape measure, a pencil, a try square, a saw, and a drill or a hammer.

We will construct a nesting box measuring 60 by 40 cm (23.6 by 15.7 inches), with an interior chamber and an entrance.

Measure, cut and assemble the seven different planks to the desired dimensions. You will need:

two planks, 49 by 40 cm (19.3 by 15.7 inches) for the sides,

one plank measuring 44 by 64 cm (17.3 by 25.2 inches) for the roof,

a plank measuring 64 by 51 cm (25.2 by 20 inches) for the front side,

a plank measuring 60 by 51 cm (23.6 by 20 inches) for the back side,

a plank measuring 60 by 40 cm (23.6 by 15.7 inches) for the bottom,

and finally a plank measuring 49 by 30 (19.3 by 11.8 inches) for the interior wall.

Cut out the entrance on the right side of the front plank. It should be 18 cm high and 13 cm long (7 inches high and 5.1 inches long.)

Leave the untreated wood as is: barn owls are sensitive to paints and varnishes.

Attach the sides of the box to the base of the nest box.

You can then put in the back side.

Place your interior wall and fix it to the base.

Make sure you leave a 20 cm (7.9 inch) space from the right wall, where the entrance is, to facilitate the owls moving around.

Attach the front wall.

You can now screw in the roof with the metal hinge. You should be able to open it up to clean the box after it's been nested in!

Place the dried and clean leaves on the floor of the nesting box and make a 3 to 4 cm (1.2 to 1.5 inches) deep carpet with them. This will make the nesting box a welcoming and suitable environment for nesting.

Your barn owl nesting box is finished!

Now all that remains is to place it outside on the ground or on a large wooden beam in the attic of a barn making sure the entrance leads directly outside.

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