It’s late fall, when a young naturalist’s thoughts ought to turn (at least momentarily) to nest box building. Boxes for Wood Ducks and the cavity-nesting owls should be up by early January. We bought our materials about this time last year for a box building bonanza on Christmas Eve.
Our neighbors were intrigued enough about our Wood Duck box (now an Eastern Screech-Owl box!) that I thought I’d share the Ducks Unlimited nest box plan that we used. It worked really well.
For my neighbors, I’m extending the offer to help you build or put up a box if I can get the free time. Some things, such as the drill bit for the entry hole, are better borrowed as they’re a little expensive to purchase for a one-time use. The obvious solution is to BUILD MORE BOXES (of course!). I also have a small supply of bailing wire if you need that 18-20″ of it to put up the predator baffle.
Are you going to save the world with a nest box? No. Neither Wood Ducks nor Eastern Screech-Owls are in any serious danger as species. A nest box, though, is a great way to bring some very interesting animals within a convenient observation range. It just takes some precautions to avoid exposing them to predators, too. Kids can also find these very intriguing, and they’re great helpers for the annual box-cleaning that’s required. What a great way to spend an hour with the grandkids while separating them from all their electronic distractions!