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Executive Summary

Our goal is to incorporate several owl nesting boxes on conifer trees located near Denny Field, William H. Gates Law Library, and the Union Bay Natural Area. Through a physical survey of campus, we found specific trees in these areas that meet the necessary criteria for barn owl habitat. The boxes will be anchored to the trees using rings that will wrap around the circumference of the trunk, and can be loosened periodically to accommodate the growth of the tree. It is our hope that within two years, one or more barn owls will encounter these boxes and take up residence on campus. We chose barn owls because they are commonly found in the Pacific Northwest, provide natural pest control, can easily live in human-modified environments, and they are a dynamic “charismatic mega-fauna” that will add complexity to biodiversity at UW. According to our panel of experts Kristine Kenny of the UW Landscape and Architecture, Heather Swift of Cohabitats, and Charles Easterberg of the UW Sanitarian, we would have a better chance of attracting an owl if we put up more than just four boxes. To get a head start and increase our chances, we would like to put up ten boxes.

Primary Contact:
Jessica Kang