Friday, June 4, 2010

If you want to join the Barn Owl Alliance - here's the link


Anonymous said...


Tom Stephan said...

Stacey and friends of owls,
After some careful consideration, I wish to join your goal of state and federal standards for the construction and installation of barn owl nesting boxes. These laws could be very much like the falconry regulations that I abide by everyday when housing and flying my trained raptors.
I have new fledging posts in service and am dreaming up new owlbox designs that have a catch pan "porch" under the provided perch. That I hope you will approve of. Also I try to install these boxes next to trees for shade and comfort and for later fledging when I can, but some properties new and have no trees a few have been installed in the sun. They all have fledged young that fluttered down to the ground and vertically walked/ flew (I use the term srambled) back up to the top of the fence and then into the box after 2-3 days, but there is as yet no studies to show any mortality, if there is any. So, I could provide a double roof affair for those boxes in the sun needing some insulation and a ramp affir for them to regain the porch therby regaining the perch and the the box. The newest box design is a two pole mounted "Castle" with a cleanout trap and spacious "drawbridge" doorway that is wide eneough for the entire brood. Under the door way and just below the box is an oval plywood board that I call the "moat" that would act as a catch pan for fledging owls. Please feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts on my new configurations or any part of the installation process Please anyone may contact me please at or just call me at 760 445 2023 Thanks, Tom Stephan

Stacey O'Brien said...

This is very brave of you to come here and be willing to work with us to help change the way owlboxes are made and installed, and to work with us in making branching systems. I am THRILLED And I hope everyone will help you to find the right solutions. You have a huge influence in the greater San Diego area, and could do so much to help the owls with an improved box and branching system! I'm really, really excited to have you on board and am looking forward to working together to make a difference for the owls.

I think that for a long time no one has realized the problem, so I don't fault you for that. And I know that you have felt attacked by people in the past, which makes it even harder to say, "Ok, I want to make improvements" because you feel like you have to defend yourself first!

But we will not attack you. We will work with you for a greater outcome, and I think the result will be a triumph for the owls and for the humans alike, and that your improved design could become the prototype for owlboxes w/ branching systems worldwide, if we do this correctly!

Right now we're doing research - looking for photographic and video resources that show owls branching - unfortunately it sounds like Carlos will not let us use any of his footage, although it shows so well how owlets branch about 2-3 weeks before they can fly well, and it shows how they learn and train their wings on the branching system Carlos finally did put in place.

We're also looking into box designs all over the world.

I'm going to post this answer to you so it's not buried in the comment section.

People in the alliance, let's work closely with Tom. He is not here for us to attack him. Let's put the past behind us and move forward together to learn what the owls NEED to survive according to their natural behavior, and help Tom to set up what could become the prototype for other successful nesting and branching systems!

I'm very, very excited to have Tom on our team and wanting to work with us!

Thank you so much, Tom! Welcome!

Stacey O'Brien

Kathlene said...

Tom I am sooooooooooooooo happy to read your comment. Thank you ever so much!

bikebabe said...

I LOVE happy endings :) Or in this case a new beginning. I hope that this is a beginning of friendship and cooperation to benefit all, especially the owls. I am grateful for the humility and willingness of all parties to put the past behind and work together for greater possibilities.