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5-10% Barn On Two Pylons

house owls in reduced barns
  (+6, -2)
(+6, -2)
  [vote for,

Owls love to nest in old barns (hence the name Barn Owls), but their favoured habitats are under serious threat as these structures are in declining numbers due to a number of factors.

The proposal here is to take the essential minimum features of old barns and transfer them unto the upper end of two vertical pylons, with a section of original roof joining them together. To understand the idea, imagine removing all but a narrow cross-section of a complete rural barn, including the end doors and interior features.

This frees up all of the space normally occupied by the footprint of the barn, but provides a reduced aerial cross-section of the original structure.

Barn owls can now find a safe and familiar place to nest, albeit in a longitudinally diminished version of their previous habitat, but still with the warm shelter of a rusting corrugated roof, rotting timbers, cross beams etc.

xenzag, Jan 25 2019


       What did they call them before we had barns?
RayfordSteele, Jan 25 2019

not_morrison_rm, Jan 25 2019

       I think it would be easier to put up barn-owl nest boxes.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2019

       Easier is for the easierbakery.
xenzag, Jan 25 2019

       Owls [+].
8th of 7, Jan 25 2019

       ^^^^Beat you to it. Or should that be too-it?   

       //cross beams   

       Are they? Wood (like straw) has a slight lack of facial movements, so it can be tricky to Guess that Emotion.
not_morrison_rm, Jan 25 2019

       And the missing the food source barns harbour?
wjt, Jan 25 2019

       Presumably, these structures will be populated by longitudinally abbreviated mice and voles. Over time, the barn owls might adapt by becoming shorter as well.   

       But, [+] for thinking of owls. We have a family of Tawny Owls in our woods, and a pair of Teat Owls in the kitchen.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2019

       // the food source barns harbour? //   

       Nothing that's relevant to barn owls - they only nest in barns. Their food source is small rodents, amphibians and the like, that they catch by patroling over areas of open country at low altitudes, hunting by a mixture of hearing and eyesight (both of which are exceptional).
8th of 7, Jan 25 2019

       If I'm a barn owl, and I'm living in a barn, and a barn vole, barn mouse or barn rat is wandering around four yards from my front door, I'm going to give serious thought to eating it.   

       I reckon barn owls live in barns because the barn and the surrounding farmery are full of small rodents.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2019

       According to the Barn Owl Trust (who, presumably, are fund-managers for barn owls), barn owls do indeed feed on the small rodents in and around barns.   

       Incidentally, there is some sort of owl conservation group who regularly set up shop at our local garden centre to raise funds. They have four or five tame-ish rescued owls of assorted species which the public are allowed to look at and, in some instances, stroke under strict supervision. A couple of weeks back, one particularly large and evil- looking owl decided to flap from its perch (to which it was tethered, but by a long tether) onto the outstretched arm of a small dewey-eyed child. To the child's credit, it said "the owl has put its claws into my arm" quite clearly before screaming. Made my day.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2019

       Indeed, a moment of pure joy.   

       The reason falconers wear thick leather gloves is not because the birds will intentionally hurt a human. Many birds are captive-bred and see humans as pseudo-parents; while their brains are uncomplicated, they do understand the benefit of not pecking the hand that literally feeds them.   

       The gloves are only needed because raptors have very large, sharp talons, and to hold on to a perch and balance they must apply a minimum amount of force - which is painful, and can indeed cause injury. But there's no intention to cause harm. However, it is generaly a good idea to avoid resembling a small, scurrying, verminous furry rodent if possible. For example, Ken Livingstone lives in terror of Peregrine falcons ...   

       // the barn and the surrounding farmery are full of small rodents //   

       The "farmery", yes. But once a pair of owls takes up residence, and particularly once they have a brood of owlets to feed, the barn is going to be rodent-free very quickly. It's the reason that barns were made with special access holes for owls, to encourage them to nest.
8th of 7, Jan 25 2019

       //raptors have very large, sharp talons// I know. They also have very hooked and diggy-inny beaks. I was reminded of this when rescuing a tawny owl that had been hit by a car. It did not seem in a mood to convey its gratitude. I still have two or three small scars.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2019

       //Ken Livingstone lives in terror of Peregrine falcons ...// as does that other rotten weasel Corbyn, except he would only serve to be a slow poison for any unfortunate predator that feasted on his festering carcass. Even the maggots avoid Corbyn.
xenzag, Jan 25 2019

       That's not entirely true - last week, Teresa May wanted a meeting with him.   

       // It did not seem in a mood to convey its gratitude //   

       If you had been hit by a car, left stunned and in pain, and were then set upon by an unfamiliar creature forty times your size and mass, you first thoughts might well not veer towards what sort of a "Thankyou" card might be most appropriate.   

       Wild birds can be expected to defend themselves out of survival instinct. Tame birds can be expected not to peck for exactly the same reason - "Peck human, get told off, no free food".   

       Parrots are an exception. They are highly intelligent and resourceful; they can reason, and are capable of malice. They are posessed of beaks that can crush the shell of large, tough nuts in a single deft, seemingly effortless, movement. It has been known for a parrot to approach a visitor to the owner's home with gentle enthusiasm, perching on the guest's forearm, making endearing noises, and enjoying being stroked. However, said parrot then makes its way onto the guest's shoulder where it perches in the approved Captain Flint, "Arrrrr, Jim-Lad ! " fashion presenting an amusing photo opportunity. Said parrot then reaches down and delicately grasps the lobe of the guest's ear in its beak, and proceeds to apply steadily, relentlessly increasing pressure. This causes excruciating pain to the victim, and exquisite amusement to the hosts. "He won't really hurt you, he just wants some sunflower seeds ! " they chuckle, all the while plying their camera with skill and dexterity, as the victim gasps, whimpers and squirms. A few sunflower seeds being handed over, the parrot, now once again doing a very convincing impression of Man's Best Friend (Avian) walks back down the victim's arm and gently eats the seeds from the open palm of their hand.   

       Parrots. You can't trust 'em.
8th of 7, Jan 25 2019

       //survival instinct// Yes, indeed, I was fully expecting it. However, given the choice of leaving it flopping around beside a busy road, and a few puncture wounds, there was little option.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2019

       No need to bring Parliament into an owl discussion...
<edit> Doh! Anno got bumped twice whist typing.

       Speaking of birds, I was standing next to some trees yesterday that had upwards of thirty crows all descend on them and crows hadn't stopped arriving before I had to go back inside. It was like every crow in the valley showed up for a jamboree or something and I wondered if that many crows was considered a mass-murder?
How many crows comprise a genocide?

xenzag, Jan 25 2019

       Kind of depends if they're wearing pairs of little silver "Sig" runes each side of their neck, or not ...
8th of 7, Jan 25 2019


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