June 27, 2018

Boulevard Woods Owl Box

If you walk down the short path in one of Athens’ newest parks, Boulevard Woods, make sure you look up.  NUF recently helped Bruce Travis install an owl box high up in a tree at the back of the park. Travis built the box according to the Audubon Society’s most recent recommendations, with the goal of minimizing damage to the tree, while attracting Barred Owls. The design relies on gravity to keep the box in the tree so that it does not girdle it as the tree grows.  

 Entrance to Boulevard Woods park.

Entrance to Boulevard Woods park.

 Bruce Travis explains the design.
 Art Morris of NUF helps hoist the box up the tree.
 View from the front of the park.
 Shawn Doonan positions the box.
 Art and Shawn working together.
 Bruce Travis watching the box being installed.

Barred Owls do not create their own nests, but rely on already constructed spaces. Owls will often use the nests of other birds or barn lofts to nest in. Attracting Barred Owls that are prevalent in our area is beneficial to the park because these owls keep the rodent population down, and are exciting to witness if you happen to catch a glimpse of one. It was a good thing that the Friends of Boulevard Woods reached out to NUF because our own Shawn Doonan not only enjoys climbing trees, but also happens to be a fan of bird-watching. He happily volunteered his time to provide the opportunity for others to catch a glimpse of these owls.