This nest box has been designed in association with BirdLife Netherlands to reduce predation by stone martens. Although stone martens aren’t present in the UK the box incorporates other features that offer benefits for Little Owls. The box is made from 18mm exterior grade plywood for added protection from the elements, and includes a large nesting chamber that allows the owlets to exercise their wings without having to leave the safety of the nest box. A special double baffle entrance keeps the nest chamber dark, which Little Owls prefer, and also protects the Little Owls from predation by Tawny Owls. Access for cleaning or ringing is via a removable roof panel.
Site between 3 and 5 metres high on an isolated tree or building in farmland, parks, golf courses or other areas with a mix of grass and hedges or copses. Line the box with wood chips or shredded bark to cushion the eggs, but avoid sawdust or soil that may clog the drainage holes.
Clean the nest box once a year, from September onwards. To do this, remove the pins from the nest box at the front and back, the roof can then be removed. Take this into account when siting the nesting box. During the cleaning, old nests and nesting material must be removed, then add a small amount of nest material. The reliability of the suspension must also be checked annually.