Owl Conservation Programme.

A family of Spotted Eagle Owls in a suitable owlbox.

 

The Spotted Eagle - Owl   Bubo africanus.

  • The Spotted Eagle Owl lays eggs almost year round, peaking from August - December.
  • There are usually 2 - 3 eggs in one clutch, laid at - 4 intervals, although it can be as high as six eggs in a good year.
  • Incubation is done solely by the female, while the male brings food to the nest. Incubation starts with the first egg laid and continues for 29 - 33 days.
  • Adults stand 45cm tall and can weigh between 480 - 850g.

  • In nests on the ground the chicks leave the nest 30 - 38 days after hatching, but in the raised nests, they only leave the nest after 40 - 42 days.
  • The juveniles stay around the nest for 6 - 8 weeks, while learning to hunt.
  • Juveniles become fully independent at about four months.

The Barn Owl  Tyto albas.

  • The Barn Owl does not build its own nest but uses man-made structures, tree hollows and caves.
  • Egg-laying season is year round and peaks from August to December in the Western Cape.
  • An average of 6 eggs is laid per clutch, but can be as high as 19 eggs in a boom year when food source is high.
  • The female incubates the eggs for 29 - 34 days, while the male hunts and brings food to the nest.
  • Adults are 29-44cm tall and weigh from 187 - 400g.

Two female chicks, 5 - 6 weeks old.                      Proud parents with a new-born chick.

  • Incubation starts with the first egg and since there is 1- 3 day interval between laying, there are always chicks of different ages in one brood.
  • Sometimes older chicks feed the younger ones but when food is scarce, the older ones are capable of eating their siblings.
  • The chicks stay in the nest for 45- 55 days before fledging.
  • Juveniles often return to the nest a week after learning to fly, and are able to hunt about three weeks later.

The Hunter.

The silent hunter.                                Owls have feathers which allow it to fly silently, unlike other birds.

  • Owls are birds of prey
  • Owls are territorial hunters.
  • Owls can hunt in complete darkness using sound alone to guide them to a successful kill.
  • All Owls are equipped with special adaptations that make them efficient predators.
  • Sensitive, directional hearing helps locate concealed prey.

Owl take-away food.

Owls keep the local rodent populations in check.

  • Owls eat mainly small mammals, particularly rodents, but also small birds, reptiles, frogs and sometimes insects.
  • Owls are natures’ way of keeping the rodent population in check.
  • Owls will set up house if there is adequate nesting available.
  • Owls boxes have a 90% hit rate!

Rat poisons are dangerous to birds of prey!!

  • Poisoning rats can eradicate an entire owl population, forcing owls to re-establish hunting grounds elsewhere.
  • This causes unnecessary competition and a reduction in the number of owls that can be sustained in any one area.
  • Allowing owls to die out in a particular area can also result in a rebound of rats and mice as well as other small mammalian pests, as there is no longer a natural control in place to keep the populations in check.

We hope the rat has not been eating poison put out by ignorant people.


FLAMINGO BIRD CLUB   -   OWL BOXES   -   Support a good cause! 

                      Let nature work for you! 

  • FBC Owl boxes encourage owls to nest and raise more rodent eaters.
  • FBC Owl boxes are made of the best materials available.
  • All funds from the sale of FBC Owl boxes go towards FBC activities such as children outings and environmental awareness and education programmes.

Owl Box price: R580

For more information about the activities of the Flamingo Bird Club or about purchasing an Owl Box please contact;

Nazeer on 072 724 3465 or John on 082 901 8295 or  flamingobirdclub@gmail.com

 


Frequently asked questions:

How do I attract owls to my property?
We would all love to be able to attract an owl and this is an ideal way to manage the rodents in your area, the friendly way. What you need to do is provide accommodation; you can do this in the form of an owl-breeding box. Most owls are always looking for old nests to take over or a nest site in the form of shelter, whether it be in a hole in a tree or an old building or a ledge on a cliff face. Two species that especially like the owl boxes are Spotted Eagle Owls and Barn Owls.

2. What kind of owl box do I need?
If you live in a built up area, the owl that you are most likely to attract is the Spotted Eagle Owl. If you live on a large property, a smallholding or farm, then you most likely have Barn Owls area.

3. Where do I position my owl box?
You should attach your owl box to a tree, your house, or any other suitable structure on your property. It is best to position the box where there is not too much vehicle or human traffic. Position the Owl box in the highest possible position. Barn Owls favour north-facing entrances. Spotted Eagle Owls like nesting in exposed positions, where they can keep a watchful eye over surroundings.

4. How do I attach the Owl box to the building or a tree on my property?
The FBC Owl boxes come with galvanized fittings and you simply drill 4 holes into the wall or tree and fix the Owl box with 4 coach screws.

                                                                                                                                              

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