Four owl boxes, donated by resident Stephen Gordon and built by local crafter Robert Vanzella, are coming to Esquimalt parks this month. (Courtesy of Township of Esquimalt)

Four owl boxes, donated by resident Stephen Gordon and built by local crafter Robert Vanzella, are coming to Esquimalt parks this month. (Courtesy of Township of Esquimalt)

Custom owl homes coming to Esquimalt parks this month

Four owl boxes will accomodate barred and screech owls

Four pairs of owls will soon have a safe nook to lay their feathered heads, thanks to a generous resident and local crafter.

Thanks to donations, four owl boxes will be installed at three Esquimalt parks this month. Just like birdhouses, the boxes provide owls with a safe spot to nest in and have their young.

“Owls face enormous population pressure in our urban environments and these boxes will help reduce some of that pressure,” Mayor Barbara Desjardins said in a statement.

Saxe Point Park will receive one barred owl box, while Highrock Park and Gorge Park will get one and two screech owl boxes, respectively. In each case, people are asked to observe the owls from a distance when they visit.

READ ALSO: B.C.’s northern spotted owl breeding facility welcomes disabled California relative

According to the Habitat Acquisition Trust, Greater Victoria used to have a large number of the western screech owl, but urban sprawl has caused their numbers to drop over 90 per cent in the last two decades. Taking their place has been the barred owl, who does far better in more urban areas.

The three boxes designated for screech owls will help ensure their population specifically is protected.

READ ALSO: Necropsy results show Kings Park owl likely died from rat poison


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