Friday, March 4, 2016

Building an Owl Habitat

ASU's College of Nursing & Health Innovation participates in a series of community service projects and today I was able to assist in the building of a habitat for Burrowing Owls that have been relocated by the Audubon Society to an area along the Salt River in Phoenix.

Normally the owls will take over abandoned gopher holes, so in our case, they build a habitat by burying buckets with tubing to the surface so that the owls will have a place to go underground and build their nests. This part was done before we arrived. Our job was to build a sturdy tent around the new nest hole that can withstand the monsoonal winds and keep the owls trapped in the area (away from predators) until they become familiar with the area. If this was not done, the owls would more than likely try to go back to the area they came from and more than likely not survive.

After the tent is built, the owls are placed in the tent and then are fed by the Audubon Society until it is time to remove the tent. It is likely that half the owls will stay there and lays eggs in the new habitat.

A burrowing owl that moved into the habitat built last year...

Some of the new residents...