Tawny Owls, Stock Doves and Jackdaws naturally nest in dark cavities in trees or buildings. Such sites are often in short supply so this nest box can be a valuable way of helping these species.
The nest box should be sited at least 3m above the ground, have a clear flight path to the entrance and be in an area that is normally free of human activity, although Tawny Owls and Jackdaws may use busier sites if the box is placed above 5m. Tawny Owl chicks will leave the nest some time before they are able to fly, so it is important that they have access to branches with cover to hide in during the day. An ivy covered tree is ideal.
Research has shown that it helps to add a layer of loose dry material such as wood shavings or shredded bark to the nest box before the breeding season starts, which may be as early as January for Tawny Owls. In an exceptional year Stock Doves may still be nesting as late as November, so the best month to clean the boxes is December. The front of the nest box is hinged and secured with a latch, so cleaning is simply a matter of opening the front, removing any contents and replacing the shavings or bark.