Monday, July 01, 2013

Mews Rebuild

We are planning to get a Barn Owl to add to the education staff at the Houston Nature Center as we anticipate growing into an International Owl Center.  The owl we will get contracted West Nile Virus last fall in southwest Wisconsin.  It recovered, but it blind in one eye, leaving it unable to survive in the wild.  It is being placed with us on my education permit.

The first gigantic order of business (besides the permit) is housing.  We had an old mews here I built for falconry back in 1996.  But back then arsenic was still used to treat lumber, so we didn't use treated lumber.  Needless to say it needed essentially a total rebuild.

Hein has put a lot of time into it in the past month or so, and I've helped some on my days off.  We hope to finish it in the next several days if all goes well.

The main sides are up.

Doors and windows in.

Adding a food tray and door.

It's even got electricity!

Electricity is important since Barn Owls have a tough time with our winters in southeast Minnesota.  We'll need to provide supplemental heat.  One other plus is that we can plug in a camera so we can watch the Barn Owl...especially important as it settles into its new home and is being trained.

Thanks to rehabber Dr. Laura Johnson for caring for the owl and offering it to us, and to rehabbers Merv and Sue Broten of Coulee Wildlife Rehab Center for caring for the owl until our facilities are ready.

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