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Eagle Owl Nesting Box from GardenStuff

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Eagle Owl (Bubo africanus)

If there are no owls in your neighbourhood, it may be because the habitat is unsuitable, or because there are no suitable nest sites for them. They don’t build a nest but use a suitable site.

Location of Nesting Box:

• 4 - 6 m above the ground, avoid direct sun.
• Position box out of any prevailing wind.
• Have a clear flight-path into the box.
• Be in a quiet area.
• Do not attempt to lure owls to the box with food; this will only encourage other animals and deter the owl.

Nothing rusts on this box, as rust causes wood-rot. The wood has been sealed with the best marine grade wood preserve available.

The box design has been approved by Radical Raptors, Bird of Prey Rehabilitation & Awareness Centre.

Eagle owls are predators of pest species, such as rats. Since they also eat insects, they keep the numbers of other potential pests in check too.
Fewer owls mean more rats.

The eagle owl is the most common South African owl. A distinguishing feature is the long and prominent ear tufts, but these are purely for show, as they have nothing to do with the actual ears.

Their wingspan is about 1 meter.

The male call with two hoots: "Hooo hooopoooo" and the female answers with three.

The fact that owls like to perch on telephone and electricity poles along the main roads is the cause of many casualties among them. At night when cars flatten insects, rodents and lizards on the road, the owls will come down to the road surface to feed on the prey remains and are subsequently hit by passing vehicles.

There are many legends, and myths surrounding these birds and many cultures fear them. Historically it was believed that if an eagle owl roosted on your roof at night, it would surely mean a death in the family. This has given rise to unfounded superstitions, which threaten their existence in the wild.

Already owls are increasingly forced to enter urban areas in search of food.
Owls play a vital role in our ecosystem, and it is important to safeguard them before there is a knock-on effect that will have severe environmental implications.

If you ever see one bob its head up and down or from side-to-side while looking at you, it is trying to get a clearer, three-dimensional picture of you.

It is also interesting to note that owls’ eyes don’t reflect in the torchlight.

References and further reading:

• Ginn, P.S., McIlleron, W.G. & Milstein, P. Le S. Compilers, 1989. The Complete Book of Southern Africa Birds. Struik Winchester.
• Sinclair, I., Hockey, P. & Tarboton, W. 2002. Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, 3rd edition. Struik.
• Steyn, P. 2009. A Delight of Owls: African Owls Observed. Jacana Media.
• Steyn, P. 2012. Spotted Eagle Owl fact file, an extract from an article in Promerops No 292, November 2012.
• Tarboton, W. & Erasmus, R. 1998. Owls and Owling in Southern Africa. Struik.
• He can hear mice walk – Village Life
• Wikipedia
• Radical Raptors. Birds of Prey Rehabilitation & Awareness Centre

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Phalaborwa, South Africa
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