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!!!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Boxes on a budget.

We had a bit of a blowy day here in Leicestershire on Sunday, that combined with the bad days owling I had on Saturday it was decided to do something else rather than go out and brave the elements.

Instead the troops were gathered up and we met up at Carl's for a bit more owl box making. I had acquired a couple of small crates/boxes from one of my customers and with a bit of Colin's intuition (and Carl's tea making) I was sure we could convert them into Little Owl boxes.
Both the boxes (and Col sporting his new glasses and stupid grin) can be seen here prior to being butchered.

Whilst supping a few cups of tea the boys discussed how best these two "mini crates" could best be adapted, their concentration was at times  somewhat deflected as they perused Carl's secret stash of girlie magazines! 

Anyway, after a couple of rollicking they both got down to the task in hand, here Col can be seen with his secret weapon, a big black tube, mmmmm not sure what he is planning to do with that?

I needn't have worried about the black tube, thank goodness! Col was going to incorporate into the box design. As can be seen in the image below an entrance hole for the owl was drilled into the top corner of the box and then the pipe was positioned inside for the owl to crawl along before dropping down into the nest chamber.

It wasn't long before both the crates were converted into Little Owl nest boxes, below. All we did then was to position a landing shelf underneath the entrance holes and they were complete. We are not going to bother giving them a coat of wood preserve because they will be erected inside old barns well out of the way of the elements. 

We were doing really well for time so rather than finish early we set about another task. I felt that this box design below was on the small side for Barn Owls, OK for roosting but not for breeding.

So we took away the side panel and retro fitted an extension to the side. Much roomier and very much more to the Barn Owl's liking......I think?

Extended box
We also mustered up some old timber and finished off the assembly of two more of the old style "A shape" Barn Owl boxes.

A Frame Barn Owl boxes
Considering the amount of Barn Owl activity I am encountering at the moment it is vital we get these boxes up asap, are you listening lads??
Anyway Col and I soon departed for our respective Sunday lunches, we left Carl to clean up all the mess and do a bit more studying of his magazines!!!
Carl - Too much time reading mate!
It was a very industrial few hours with five more boxes made, a good job guys!


  1. You were jealous cus we did'nt let you look at the mag.cus we know what yer like hahahaahah It was a good few hours mate job well done must get up soon

  2. looks like you have an interesting team...

    that internal pipe looks like a clever addition - should help deter sticks ( & Jackdaws )

    1. Yes a very interesting team, some really odd blokes to tell the truth!!!...ha ha