After reading the informative internet owl house article by Charles Wade and Lee Pauser, I am in the process of building an owl house for my daughter who lives in the San Diego area. She has a one acre property that is over-run with various rodents that live in the ground around her home. An owl house seems to be a great answer to the problem.
I have wanted to build something a little different than a standard plywood box and have designed something that fits the article criteria but has more of a rustic barnyard appearance. I want to use exterior grade plywood for the bottom and sloped top pieces with rough sawn cedar for the exterior. I have already purchased the materials, including the cedar (5/8” X 5 1/2” X 6’ rough sawn Western Red Cedar fence boards) but am wondering if I have made a mistake. I recall reading somewhere that a person shouldn’t use cedar shavings for the bedding material. I have used cedar for various projects in the past and remember that I had to use long sleeve shirts and a dust mask since the sawdust bothered me.
So, my question to you is, do you believe that I should take the cedar back and use redwood instead or if the cedar would be o.k.? I would hate to go to the expense of building this and find that the owls won’t use it.
Your comments would be appreciated.
Over the years we have mostly sold the PLYWOOD BARN OWL HOUSES due largely to it’s cost being less and the fact that it’s equally as durable compared to the cedar design. We have always included cedar shavings to be used inside both models, on the bottom of the house, and have not recorded any noticeable problem resulting from this practice. Barn owls seem to adapt the houses fine whether cedar shavings are used in either model and when compared side by side, the CEDAR BARN OWL HOUSES are just as likely to get owls moving in as their closely related plywood designs.
Barn Owl Houses: http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/bats/barn_owl_house.html