Sustain Our Nation's Forests and Grasslands

Protecting cavity-nesting owls

An owl is trapped in a vault toilet (portable toilet) ventilation pipe
An owl is trapped in a vault toilet (portable toilet) ventilation pipe.

Each year thousands of cavity-nesters that prefer dark, narrow spaces for nesting and roosting become trapped and die in ventilation pipes, dryer vents, irrigation pipe and chimneys that mimic the natural cavities preferred by some species for nesting and roosting.

This summer, Umatilla National Forest’s Walla Walla Ranger District is partnering with the Blue Mountain Audubon Society Chapter and the Teton Raptor Center’s Port-O-Potty Owl Project to retrofit 28 vault toilet ventilation pipes with mesh screens to prevent cavity-nesting birds from dropping into large vertical ventilation pipes and landing in the “basement” of a vault toilet where they can’t escape.

The Teton Raptor Center’s mission is to advance raptor conservation through education, research and rehabilitation. The Blue Mountain Audubon Society was organized to serve its membership and its community to appreciate, preserve and enjoy birds and wildlife and the natural environment in the local area, and beyond. Through partnerships like these, education about and conservation of the cavity nesting owls benefits all of us.

Check out our blog on this and follow the link included here for more information on the subject.