Screech Owl House Plan

Screech Owl House Plan
Screech owls are small owls. They will not bother pets, do not need to be fed and they will consume nuisance creatures, such as rodents and roaches. These owls are cavity dwellers. Where trees are absent or trimmed, there might be no home for them. Create a home by making a basic box shaped nest out of pine wood. Place your box where a treeline meets open land or along a fence row so that owls can have secure housing and scout food in the same area.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Construction

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1x10 inch by 8 foot board Pencil Measuring tape Crosscut saw Hammer or screwdriver Nails or wood screws 3 inch hole saw Drill 5/16 bit
  • 1x10 inch by 8 foot board
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Crosscut saw
  • Hammer or screwdriver
  • Nails or wood screws
  • 3 inch hole saw
  • Drill
  • 5/16 bit
 
Step 1
Lay the board flat. Mark one side down the length of the board at 12, 38, 53, 63, 81 and 96 inches.
Step 2
Mark the other edge of the board across from the first set of measurements. Start at the same end and repeat the same first four markings. This time, make your fifth mark at 78 inches before making your final mark at 96 inches.
Step 3
Draw a line across the board, connecting each of your five measurement pairs. If your board is exactly 8 feet long, you might not need to draw your sixth measure line (that will be the end of the board) and no sixth cut should be needed.
Step 4
Use a crosscut saw to make cuts along the lines you have drawn. Four cuts will be straight. The final one will be angled.
Step 5
The 26x10 inch piece is the back. On that piece, measure and strike a line 4 inches from one end.

If you had a trim piece remaining from your board, use it here. Otherwise, any scrap of wood 10 inches long will do. It should be about the width of your little finger. It will serve to keep the top of the house from being popped off from the inside.

Nail the strip along and above the 4-inch mark. Attach all further pieces to this side of your board.
Step 6
The two angled pieces are the sides of the house. Nail them in place, attaching the 18-inch-tall edge to the back piece and butting each piece right up under the mounted trim piece.
Step 7
The 15x10 inch piece is the front. Before attaching it, measure and mark each long edge of the board at 10 inches and 13 inches. Measure across the width of the board, marking 3.5 inches in from each side, between your first two marks. This should form a rough 3-inch square.

Drill a 3 inch wide hole within the marked area using the hole saw attachment.
Step 8
Use a five-sixteenth bit to drill nine holes in the floor piece to allow any water to drain away. You might measure and evenly space the holes or simply spread them across the floor area. Drill five vent holes on the front piece to allow better air exchange in the interior. These should be placed in a line above the entrance hole, one-quarter to one-half inch from the upper edge.
Step 9
Nail the bottom panel to the back and side pieces. Attach the front piece. Each panel should be flush with the bottom panel.
Step 10
Save the roof for last. Slide this panel under the trim piece and attach it to the front panel. If you want to have access to check and clean the box, you can add hinges and a latch instead of nailing the panel in place.

Mounting

Step 1
Choose a hardwood or pine tree to mount your house. Place the box on the most open side of the tree. Boxes can also be mounted on a pole.
Step 2
Hang the box facing away from the wind and out of the sun and rain as much as possible. Face the box to the east, west or south.
Step 3
The box should be at least 10 to 15 feet off the ground, 10 feet from other owl houses and 20 feet from heavily traveled areas.
Step 4
Add dry leaves, dry lawn clippings or wood chips to line the box.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
The first two references below offer excellent photos and options for owl houses.

Article Written By Alice Moon

Alice Moon is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and has traveled throughout Asia. Moon holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Ball State University.

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