Saturday, 7 March 2015

Saw-whet owl nesting box

Out I went at 1:30.
Sunny day, warm in the lee of the house.
Back I cam at 3:55,
a little weary.
After a morning sans power, hubby went off for some shopping therapy. He dropped off a thank you card with Sady's photo on the front.

I decided I wanted to do something outdoors.

I got the blower started, and cleared off the driveway. The warm sun was melting the snow in the centre of the drive. I was moved to do some more work.

My goal was to put up the new Saw-whet owl nesting box. I'd filled it with shavings, as I did the Wood duck nesting box. You have to clean it after they hatch, there is a door on the side which opens. Not too near the house, but in the southward facing sun, nestled in the edge of the forest, I chose a dead Elm tree. They are hard as nails. Speaking of which...

It's crooked, because 
of the configuration of the tree.  
Despite pre-drilling a hole, the 4" screw wouldn't go in. I've had this issue before. Picture me, here am I, atop the ladder, drill in hand. Switching drill bit for the third time. The hole I drilled, for the bottom screw, I realized ought to be the bottom hole, as I couldn't lift that sucker over my head.
I wasn't worried, since we have 16" of snow cover. It would be a soft landing!

I struggled and struggled. Back down the ladder, I grabbed me a 4" nail and my heavy hammer. That sucker was going in come hell or high water! Then, I dropped the drill bit for the screw head. Yes, I swore loudly. I decided the drill was useless, and simply dropped it to the ground. I think.
I split the wood in the top hole, you can see the nail wouldn't go in any farther. More swearing!
Here is the Saw-whet owl
from the front porch visit.
My target audience!

My UPS guy, a sweet young man, had to stop in the middle of the driveway, as my wheelbarrow blocked his way. He dropped off an ASL Sign Language book I'd ordered from Amazon. I have a new client who signs, and I wanted to brush up on my sign language.

As I was making my way back to the driveway I fell down in the snow. Laughing so hard, by then, he asked if I was OK, and that made me laugh harder. Laughter is the best medicine.
Off he went on his tour. He will have much more work to do, since many of the stores in Perth weren't open with the power outage. He'll have to double up the next day.

I cleaned up my things, including the ladder and tools. Except, I couldn't find the drill. Anywhere. There are two possibilities, I'll have to go back up the ladder and check that I didn't place it in the box to hold it. The other thing is it will appear when the snow melts. Sigh. It was a great drill! Hubs thinks I put it down somewhere, and I must have. It's not in the box, I went back up.

Saw-whet info: they are tiny birds.
  • Size: 79 grams (2.8 oz.) Mine was maybe 6" tall! (Mostly feathers!)
  • Wingspan: 43 cm (17") (Barred owls, Snowys = over 1m)
  • Diet: Mostly mice and voles, also songbirds, beetles, grasshoppers
  • Lifespan : 10 years
  • Incubation: 29 days, 5 or 6 eggs
  • Brooding: 18 days, male brings food
picture me doggy digging - no drill!
Hole is 3" big. About 7.5cm.
The Northern Saw-whet is teeny.

Back the 2nd day, adding a couple more nails.
Daisy was brave and helped!
Buster was patrolling the driveway.
Saturday's Critters #64


eileeninmd said...

Great photos, I hope the owl will take up residence in your new box. That would be cool. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

At least you're willing to climb a ladder Jennifer, I wouldn't be caught at the top of one!
It's exciting enough to have common backyard birds nest in a box, but to welcome an owl family would be awesome.

Margaret Adamson said...

as they say "Watch this space"! however in this case it's, "Watch the box"! great shots. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

William Kendall said...

I'm assuming the box is bigger than it looks- I'd wonder how an owl would get in that.

Nancy J said...

A bit like when our other " Tree Feller" comes, everything is tied onto his sturdy work belt with strong cords. Maybe the drill is under all that snow.

Out To Pasture said...

I'm looking forward to seeing which lucky tennant occupies the box.

How thoughtful of you to brush up on your sign language. Hope your power is back on by now.

Cheers, Florence

Red said...

This is one of those situations where you don't know whether to laugh or cry. I don't think I'd have wanted to be near when all this was going on . I might get blamed for something. Anyway , I hope you get a saw whet owl. If they're in your yard they should take up your offer. Have you heard their call yet?

Marie said...

What a wonderful thing to do! You did have some "events" in the process but thankfully you didn't hurt yourself. Just hate you lost your drill. I do hope an owl takes up residence, and makes it all worthy while!

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

I love the owl! I hope it will enjoy the box.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Good luck with the owlets!