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Hello and Can i pick your brains?

 
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Mower_Racer



Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:57 pm    Post subject: Hello and Can i pick your brains? Reply with quote

Hi guys

My Name is Jason and yes i really do race lawn mowers!!

I wonder if you guys can help me?

I live and work in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. I survey lifts and cranes for a living. I have noticed a few things at work that have led me to believe that maybe there is an Owl living at one of my clients sites in Portsmouth. Although would an owl really live in a busy city??

When climbing some of the dockside cranes at my clients i have notice small pellets made from fur which have bones in them:-

http://flateric13.smugmug.com/Hobbies/owl/11844757_rgnNq#837442329_BQ97c-A-LB

I have all noticed pigeons which have been torn to shreds, just leaving bones and the heads Although i do know that Falcons are used on site to keep pigeons away.

I also climbed a crane yesterday in the client next door and notice a large nest in the jib head. Could this be from an Owl??

If there is an owl, when and where would i be able to see it? What sort of Owl would it be?? Also are they protected species and if so do i need to tell the clients that they need to start looking after it??

Hope you can help??
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owlboy
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Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 1343
Location: Albany, NY, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jason

Quote:
Although would an owl really live in a busy city??


Yes, some can and do live in cities. Low flying owls, such as, Barn Owls cannot live in the city because of car impacts.

Quote:
When climbing some of the dockside cranes at my clients i have notice small pellets made from fur which have bones in them:-


Pellets with bones are from owls. Without bones are from hawks and falcons. So yes, these pellets are from an owl.

Quote:
I also climbed a crane yesterday in the client next door and notice a large nest in the jib head. Could this be from an Owl??


The nest is probably from another bird or animal. But, owls will take over existing or abandon nest. So, I would not be surprised if an owl is nesting there.

I presume that the nest is right where the jib attaches to the boom. I am also assuming that this is a fixed crane on a shipping dock. Owls also like hydraulic lines of heavy equipment. It provides a great grip, and is comfortable to sit on. Especially, ones that are higher up and exposed. They will not hurt the hydraulic line with their talons. They are notorious for sitting on backhoe boom lines. Most construction people like them around. They keep the mice from chewing thru electrical lines. It is a great relationship between people and owls. Both benefit greatly.



Quote:
If there is an owl, when and where would i be able to see it? What sort of Owl would it be?? Also are they protected species and if so do i need to tell the clients that they need to start looking after it??


They will usually come out at night. You may not ever see them if the workers only work during the day. I can't say what kind of owl it is, but I would guess that it is a medium to larger owl.

Yes, owls are protected. But, I would guess that they probably not have to do anything. An owl can eat 1,000 mice per year, so the owl will work hard at night to keep the mice from causing problems with the equipment.

My only concern would be if the owl lays eggs and they hatch. Once the owlets get older, they will "Branch". This means that they will jump out of the nest to the ground. If this happens, have one of the workers take the owlet, and place it on the side of the closest tree. During this time the owlet will run around on the ground, until it learns how to climb the tree. About a week later it will learn how to fly. If this nest location turns out to be a problem, you can move the nest (with the owlets) to a safer location very close by. Or, you can build a platform, and slowly keep moving it until it is in a better place.

If an owl is nesting there, you should be able to see the female on the nest, or at least see some eggs. I would think that most owls have laid their eggs by now.

One other thing that might be of interest. Owls often show up at construction sites where there is earth being moved. The equipment removes any spots where mice can hide, so once the mouse enters the open earth, the owls are almost guaranteed to catch them.

Hope this helps.
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