In January and February of 2012 I read up on barn owls as a way of controlling squirrel populations and decided to build a barn owl box to attract barn owls to our property. Following suggested designs on the Internet, I built a barn owl box and hung it from a eucalyptus tree branch about three feet below the branch so that the box is about twenty feet in above the ground and about 175 feet south of our house. I put a night vision IP video camera inside the box and strung an overhead cable between the box and the second floor deck of our house to power the camera and convey the Internet signal from the owl box to the house, making the camera part of our private LAN.
For several weeks with the camera turned on 24/7, I checked frequently for occupancy, with no luck. Then about a week ago I powered off the camera on the theory that the camera lights, including in particular the red lights which are essential to night vision, were a turn off to owls with their own excellent night vision.
About 10:00 AM this morning, I powered up the camera, took the attached picture of our new occupant, and promptly powered off the camera again so as not to scare away our new occupant, who was moving around as I took the picture.
I intend to briefly turn the camera on every few weeks to take additional peeks.
3/28 - update -I now have the camera on 24/7. The light does not seem to bother the owls.