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Laker may have some owls for neighbors

By on February 1, 2012

When John O’Sullivan arrived at the state park in North Georgia with his family, he immediately focused on the large owl box above the campground. He stared in fascination as the owls stood on the box, watching the campers all day.

At night’s approach, the owls sent out their call, “hoo, hoo, too-HOO,” when O’Sullivan said he realized something.

“It occurred to me that you could make boxes and they would move into them.”

A professor of sociology at Gainesville State College, O’Sullivan said that he has thought of putting up owl boxes for a long time, and finally decided over the holidays to do it.

He paid a carpenter friend who needed work, to build three barred owl boxes. O’Sullivan chose several of the best parts from other plans he found to create “a mansion for owls.”

Two were placed in Gainesville, one on the Lynwood Nature Preserve and another on the edge of the city in some woods.

For the third box, O’Sullivan sent an email to several professors asking if they would like the box for the wetlands.

“And a lot of us said yes,” Margi Flood , a biology professor at Gainesville State College, said.

The barred owl used to be very common and could be found from Fla. to Maine and from Canada to west past the Miss., Flood said.

Flood added that owls are considered a top predator and will help to bring in animals that used to be in the area.

On Thursday, Jan. 12, Flood, her husband and two students placed the barred owl box in the wetlands, which is part of Tumbling Creek woods.

Tumbling Creek spans 77 acres, which is next to GSC and owned by the Gainesville State College Foundation.

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