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Local Boy Scout Provides Better Homes for Barn Owls

During his months-long Eagle Scout project, local boy Scout Garith von Euw, 15, built five nest boxes for the local owls.

By Gabriela von Euw

Some studies say 60 percent of barn owls die before they are a year old while the other 40 percent may live up to two years. A reason for this is because Great Horned Owls are one of the major predators to Barn Owls.

Boy Scout Garith von Euw, 15, from troop 818 collaborated with Sulfur Creek Recreational Coordinator Wendy Winsted to create five nest boxes for his Eagle Scout project.

"I chose this project because I like animals and want to provide a better home for the Barn Owls" Garith said.

Since the life expectancy of the owls is very low, the nest boxes are a very important factor in preserving Barn Owls in the U.S.

Not waiting until it was too late, Garith started early, planning and preparing over the summer for his eagle scout project.

In preparation he said, "I went to different stores over the summer and told them what I am doing. I asked them if they could help donate supplies for my project."

At the end of October and beginning of November Garith and his fellow boy scouts started working tirelessly on the boxes during the weekends for many hours.

They assembled the boxes together and then coated them with waterproof paint. Shingles were then placed on the roofs of the boxes to protect the box and have it last longer.

On the outside and inside of the front of each box there are indents that look like ancient writing. They are carved there for the young owlets to be able to climb up from the inside and get back in from the outside.

Once the boxes were all finished up, Garith contacted the HARD Maintenance and Construction Supervisor Ed Little to organize putting up the five nest boxes at Memorial Park, East Avenue Park, Old Highlands Park, Palomares Hills Park, and Greenridge Park.

The nest boxes were spread out like this because the owls are territorial.

As of Tuesday, Dec. 11, the boxes have been put up ready for a new homeowner, our local Barn Owls. 

Linda December 14, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Wow! Awesome article and so wonderful to hear about local youth doing good things for their community.
Michael Gregory December 14, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Garith - very cool project! Please contact us @ 577-6067 to discuss further. Michael Gregory- Friends of the San Leandro Creek
Garith von Euw December 15, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Hello Mr. Gregory are you sure you sent the right number because i didnt reach you at 577-6067 Garith
Garith von Euw December 15, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Hi Emily Rich. Yes I could construct one on spec but you would need to supply the materials. Garith
Charlie Goldie December 15, 2012 at 05:07 PM
How does the box protect Barn Owls from the Great Horned Owl? In nature without the boxes, do the Great Horned Owls raid the Barn Owl nests? Do the parents fight off the Greats? What is the population of Barn Owls compared to Great Horned Owls? Your project has provided safety and curiosity. I wish you the best for the future!!

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