Winter solstice: A big day for Spotted Eagle Owls

For us its just another cold day, perhaps the coldest. We see our sun for less hours than at any other time of the year. Its depressing. We might think that everyone must feel the same way, owls however, don't...

For Spotted Eagle Owls (Bubo africanus) the shortest day doesn't just mean a longer night and - being nocturnal - that's ok, it is also the hormonal trigger that "kicks" them into breeding condition. This is what they have been waiting for all year. It heralds new life, eggs, food exchanges, solicitation, copulation and - you guessed it ...baby owls!

We know that many of our clients are still waiting for their owl boxes to be occupied, we know that some have lost faith. What we also know is that we have occupied owl boxes all over the country and every year our occupancy rate grows. The reason for this we believe, is natal recognition. Young owls, once fledged and wiser, will attempt to replicate the site in which they were successfully reared when choosing a breeding site of their own. Owls that have been bred and raised in owl boxes will go on to become owl box breeding owls.

As a result of PikItup not picking it up earlier this year, Johannesburg is experiencing a rodent eruption. This is awful for us but bodes well for owls and owl box occupancy. If you have been wishing for an occupied owl box but don't know what to do, now is the time to have it serviced.  You may well be turning it from just a box in a tree to an owl box in waiting.. 

The service component of the owl box is essential for its potential occupancy. The replacement of the substrate, checking that it is still firmly attached and re-varnishing, has been the key to successful occupancy for many of our participants. We service owl boxes by area and once your service payment has been received you will be placed into the schedule.

The correlation between servicing and owl box occupancy is very clear. Even boxes that were occupied initially and then never serviced have now become abandoned. It is safe to say that an owl box that has not been serviced is actually no longer an owl box, it is just a box in your tree.

Now is the time to service your owl box.

Please contact our offices via e-mail to arrange. 


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