Raptors

What are raptors you ask?  Raptors are birds of prey, that means they hunt and eat mammals, other birds and even frogs. Raptors are owls, eagles, falcons and hawks. It is easy to attract a raptor to your yard . All you need is a nest box. They are so much fun to watch!!

      Some owls need our help. Especially the owls that nest in cavities. Cavities  in nature are usually old dead trees. Just what most home owners and landowners cut down. Owls can  become endangered if they lose all their nesting sites. They do love artificial nest boxes and it is really neat to see an owl. They help too because they keep the rodents in check. Many owls love living in peoples backyards. You can put up lots of boxes too . Since different kinds of owls will use different kinds of boxes. What is important is not the size of the box but the opening size and placement, to keep raccoons and cats from getting the babies.

All these nest box dimension are from the  Raptor Trust a member there sent them to me and asked that I put them up Some tips for all owl nest boxes hinge one side like my bluebird box Mount the box so the opening faces southeast. Put one inch layer of pine shavings to help contain the eggs. ONLY USE PINE! Cedar shavings and sawdust are harmful to owls.

f you want to make any of these owl nest boxes just click on the thumbnail and print out the directions.

Barred Owl-

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picture donated by Owl Cam a five month old named Peanut

This owl is officially listed as threatened and needs our help. They live in dense wooded swamps and deep forests. Woods near streams, marshes and lakes are especially liked. Because of their habitat needs there are very few nest boxes made for these owls. If you have a habitat in your yard or know of one considered making a nest box for this owl.

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These owls live on the eastern 1/2 of the United states and parts of Canada. It is a nocturnal owl which means feeds at night ,it eats rodents, birds, frogs and crayfish.

BARN OWLS

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These owls like open areas like fields deserted lots, meadows , parks and farmland. These owls live  very close to man . They nest in lots of great places like church towers, farm structures, water towers, under bridges. If you have something high in your yard consider making one of these.

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this type box is for An area that has a roof like inside a silo or other buildings that have roofs. Make sure you put t up high enough so no cats or raccoons can get the babies

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this is a box for outside like on a high tree or the side of your house

The barn owl eats mostly rodent rarely amphibians, reptiles or insects.These owls are also suffering from habitat loss and loss of nesting cavities. The male feeds the female while she is sitting on her eggs. You can tell barn owls by their heart shaped face.

 

Great Horned Owls

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click the thumbnail to see larger image

This is a baby great horned owl. We attracted this one by accident.We used to raise pheasants and they moved in to feast on them. They set up a nest right next to our pen. I tell the story of how we got the picture on the wildlife photo page.

An interesting fact about great Horned Owls is that they are one of the few animals that are not afraid of skunks.

Great Horned Owls are the ones that the famous Hoo Hoo owl sounds comes from. They are the second largest owl, the only one larger is the rare Great Gray owl.   These owls eat a wide variety of small mammal as well as frogs and lizards.Their favorite thing is rabbits. It is one of the earliest nesting birds often in late January. Female great horned owls are larger than males. They have silent flight and hunt at night using sound. These owls live all over North America

Great Horned owls nest in the abandoned nests of hawks or even squirrels, they have been know to nest in tree cavities, caves and even on the ground.

Screech owls

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Hi Lindsay here.. I just had one of the greatest nature experiences. (3/17/99) I was riding my bike and I went exploring in a field . I came across this sleeping owl. He was in a tree only about 12 feet up! I felt like I could almost touch him!!I rode home as fast as I could and got my Mom with her camera. The owl just kept on sleeping in this tree, until that is my younger brother made too much noise!

 

About these owls they are among the smallest owls, have two phases of color red and gray. They are found all over ,  open forests, wood lots , suburban neighborhoods and shorelines.  They are said to be fearless in protecting their nests and will attack just about anything that approaches it..

If you keep your" nature eye" open you too may spot one of these

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Red Tailed Hawk

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These hawks are very common and they hunt in pairs flying high in the sky with the male behind and above the female . Sometimes they hunt by sitting motionless in a tree waiting for movement.They hunt in the day for rodents , crayfish and even fish. These birds hunt using keen eyesight because they hunt in the day. The famous saying "Hawk eyed " comes from how great hawks can see. They say they can see  like we see looking through binoculars.They are found all over North America. The color they are varies depending on where they live.


KESTRALS

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picture donated by Neal Newman