We had barn owls in a box we put up at our last house, but they disappeared during a very wet spell - one of their problems is that they can't fly in the rain. While they were using the box they bred twice, and mum and dad and their rackety chicks gave me enormous pleasure. I found a dead adult in the hedgeline around the time they went, which was heart-breaking. Conservationists talk about iconic species; anyone who has seen a barn owl hunting at dusk would call them iconic.
Our new place is just about perfect for them. We're in pretty open countryside with hedges, tussocky grass and voles coming out of our ears (metaphorically!), plus an oak tree which isn't just perfect for a box but which we'll also be able to see at close range from the new kitchen window. We sell boxes ourselves, so I was confident about what I was getting when an exciting looking parcel arrived in the post.
They're made by a team of local raptor enthusiasts, so they're well designed and come with easy to follow instructions. They're nice and light and easy to put up - even for a doofus like me. I'm no expert, but I'm told apparently barn owls like boxes and, if they're around, the chances of them using a properly sited one are high. Fingers crossed.