Hi and welcome to my Blog, my name is Paul Riddle and I live in south Leicestershire, UK. Back in August 2007 my quest began to locate as many local Little Owl territories as possible. The driving force was a reported decline in the uk numbers so I thought I would do my bit and conduct a study in my area. After 7 years and countless hours out in the field I have detected over 200 different sites. With a thirst for a greater understanding of the owls a more comprehensive monitoring and nest box programme then commenced. This also now includes monitoring the local and very sparse population of Barn Owls, please pop back occasionally and catch up with the life and times of my owls and any other wildlife that I come across. I hope you enjoy your visit!!!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Going Green!

I have just begun the assembly of my next 20 Little Owl boxes, hopefully they will be made and positioned in the next few weeks just in time to maybe attract some of this years juveniles once they start to disperse from their natal sites.

I now realise I made a fundamental mistake with the first 20 boxes I put up earlier this year........the colour!!!  Its not that the owls have any preference at all, they couldn't give a dam. The problems lies with how obvious they are when compared to the natural colour of a tree trunk, see image below.

Pictured below is the first off the production line sporting the new colour, hopefully they will blend in better with the natural environment and won't bring as much attention to themselves as the "brown box" did at site 96 where some scroat climbed the tree and stole 3 eggs out of the box!

In addition to the colour change I have also made a slight design change, the door has been moved over to the left hand side (did you notice the change?). The reason for this is the hen birds were found to prefer the front right hand side of the box to lay her eggs, therefore I thought it less disturbing to move the door over. 

Many thanks to Ken & Jean Goodrich for organising the supply of the timber through the Leicester And Rutland Ornithological Society.

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