Build Your Own Owl House

Give an owl a home

Owl nesting boxes are constructed from standard, tongue and groove pine ceiling boards, on a 30mm x 30mm pine frame. Ask your timber supplier to supply the wood in untreated form, as household timber is normally supplied having been treated with poisonous insect repellent.

The two types of boxes are in essence the same, with the exception that the access hole is restricted to one small hole in the case of the Barn Owl (photograph above left), and large access holes in all four sides in the case of the Spotted Eagle Owl (photograph on right, box on the right). In both cases the bottom of the access holes should be located in such a position that the baby birds cannot fall out of the box.

A small landing area (15cm x 10cm) should be attached to the Barn Owl Box at the base of the access hole.The roof slopes towards the small front in the Barn Owl box, whilst the roof slopes the other way in the case of the Spotted Eagle Owl box. In both cases the roof overhangs the sides by 5cm to give more weather protection. The wood in both types of box is treated on the outside only, with any good lead-free preservative.

As pine needles do not rot, they are found to be the best nesting material with which to cover the base of the box.

If you need help or advice, please contact Gerry Cassidy on +27 (0)28 316 3412 or email

BirdLife South Africa appreciates the support from Gerry Cassidy and for allowing the use of his plans.

Suppliers of ready-made owl boxes