Making houses for owls

A owl house made from plastic. Photo: Facebook.

 

Who knew that one could use recycled plastic bottles and containers to build houses for owls, bats and bees!

It is important to recycle as waste has a hugely negative impact on the natural environment. Recycling helps to reduce the pollution caused by waste. You also can help save the environment simply by doing your bit.

The Owl Rescue Centre is collecting bottles and plastic containers (and caps too), to make houses for owls, bats and bees. Only two per cent of all plastics used in South Africa are currently recycled, but the centre aims to change that with the help of the community.

An Eagle Owl. Photo: Facebook.

The Centre is a Non-profit Organisation based in Hartbeespoort. It is dedicated to protecting owls, rescuing owls that are in danger, and rehabilitating and caring for owls that have been injured, are sick, poisoned or orphaned and releasing them back into their natural environment using specifically researched release methods. The Centre is involved in several conservation projects to decrease the high mortality rate of owl species.

The Owl Rescue Centre was founded by Brendan Murray following a lifelong interest and passion for birds of prey. Brendan spent most of his young life observing and studying birds. He came to the realisation a few years ago that owls in particular need help to protect them from becoming endangered, and so the Owl Rescue Centre was born.

An Eagle Owl. Photo: Facebook.

Owls are very scarce in South Africa, so we should save the few we still have.

Here are some interesting facts about owls:

– Did you know that owls are farsighted and are unable to clearly see anything that is within a few centimetres of their eyes?.

– The smallest owl weighs as little as 31 grams. The largest females are 71cm long, have a wingspan of 54cm, and weigh up to 4,2 kg.

– Different species of owls produce different sounds, which helps them to find mates, and announce their presence to potential competitors.

– Their facial discs (those round patches around their eyes) help to funnel the sound of prey to their ears.

– Female owls are generally slightly larger than the males in some species.One theory suggests that natural selection has led to smaller males, because it allows them to be efficient foragers. The ability to obtain more food is advantageous during breeding season.

– In some species, female owls stay at their nest with their eggs while it is the responsibility of the male to bring food to the nest. However, if food is scarce, the male first feeds himself before feeding the female.

– All owls are carnivorous birds of prey and live mainly on a diet of insects and small rodents such as mice, rats, and hares. Some owls are also specifically adapted to hunt fish.

– Owls are very adept at hunting in their respective environments. Most owls live a mainly nocturnal lifestyle and being able to fly without making any noise gives them a strong advantage over their prey, which listen for the slightest sound in the night.

Should you want to drop off any plastic bottles, please do so at any one of the following places:

– Lido Supermarket, 38 Anstruther Street, Discovery, Roodepoort (Chane Wolmarans – 011 674 1400)

– Dalvet Animal Clinic, 14 Hendrik Potgieter Road, Dalview (Debbie Pledger Yannakakis)

Avalon School, 81 Pierre Road, Ruimsig, Roodepoort (Jennifer Anne Fourie).

For more information, you can go to their website at http://www.owlrescuecentre.org.za, or visit their Facebook page, Owl Rescue Centre.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected] (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

Remember to visit our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages to let your voice be heard!

  AUTHOR
Lungi Ndimande
Journalist

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