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Old 01-25-2010, 11:14 PM   #41
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The finished brush pile core/stack with backfill done of the trenches .

The end product as pictured measures some 49-50 " long by 41-42" wide by 26-27" tall from ground level . With the fence fabric streched the holes measure some 2 1/2 " at thier narrow point from paralel wire side to some 3" at the points .

Material list as pictured ;

5 pallets

16 tent stakes (4 per side)

about 16 + feet of 48" wide chain link fabric

Small quanity of tie wire


The only thing remaining to be done is the layering of brush/branches . Being as it may be some days before i get to that on this one , I will fast forward to some pics of 4 others that I have done in like manner .
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:20 PM   #42
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I need to add a little more brush to this one , if you look through the pics 2-4 you can see where some of the core stack can still be seen within .
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:33 PM   #43
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Pic #1 ,One just to the east of the new burrowing owl habitat .

Pic #2 , Another to the southeast of the owl area .

Pic #3 , Another out by my acquired snag tree

Pic #4 . My first brush pile , just a crude pile of branches . Now colapsed on itself , somewhat flattened . It will be taken apart and put back together with one of the pallet cores . My 6th and likely last brush pile to be erected here . Time to consider a different project .

Questions/comments?
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:58 AM   #44
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Lonediver,
What a nice job you did putting this "How-To" together for creating your nifty brush pile with protection inside. Very creative indeed.

Love all the photos; they are very helpful. Thanks for taking the time during your project to snap photos and post them here.

Please let us know what species decide to take up residence in your brush pile critter condominum.

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Old 01-26-2010, 12:29 PM   #45
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I think that this is a very cool project. You provided excellent illustrations and commentary, too, lonediver. The burrow holes are pretty impressive (they look quite professional actually, not like mine would look at all) and I like your snag-lets, too. I am not sure what in my area might move into a home like this...probably rabbits, which I have no trouble attracting, unfortunately. They must stop gnawing on my Euonymous americana saplings! And my Cornus, Viburnums, etc! Wascally wabbits.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:45 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonediver View Post
My 6th and likely last brush pile to be erected here . Time to consider a different project .

Questions/comments?
As usual, you have a well-done, enormous project going there.

What are you pondering for your next adventure?

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Old 01-27-2010, 10:57 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Hedgerowe View Post
I think that this is a very cool project. You provided excellent illustrations and commentary, too, lonediver. The burrow holes are pretty impressive (they look quite professional actually, not like mine would look at all) and I like your snag-lets, too. I am not sure what in my area might move into a home like this...probably rabbits, which I have no trouble attracting, unfortunately. They must stop gnawing on my Euonymous americana saplings! And my Cornus, Viburnums, etc! Wascally wabbits.
Hello Hedgerow ,

The "Wascally wabbits" you refer to I call the R & R's (ravenous rabbits). I have to deal with cottontails , jackrabbits (which are actually hares) and ground squirels , all of which enjoy young tender plants and all 3 are unfortunately plentifulin my area . The squirels when not in hibernation are easy to trap ( thier weakness in peanut butter) once trapped they make for great supplemental owl food .

In a number of the pics of my property you should be able to see wire fence circles (steked to the ground) around a number of my plantings . I found it necessary to spend thousands of dollars in what is called rabbit wire which I found available through home depot . Available in widths/height of 28" x 50' long rolls . When I was buying it I seem to remember it was like $16-17 a roll . Cutting each roll into 3 or 4 pieces one could make 3-4 circles either 4 to 5 feet in diameter to protect plantings with . Determing size of diameter desired tahing pi (3.14.... ) x desired diameter to get needed length of fencing/wire necessary . Once planting get to sufficent maturity the wire circles can be easily removed. The rabbit wire consists of graduated rectangle patern with the smallest rectangles toward the ground , largest toward the top . This is what has worked for me .

So far as the enhanced brush piles go I felt the chain link fencing fabric wasa reasonable choice providing holes/semi square holes of some 2 1/2 to 3 inches . This will stop the rabbits . My observations is that the rabbits require about a 4 inch opening . Rabbits ocassionally try to move into the burrowing owl habitats which are 4" tubes , the owls will most often drive the rabbits out/off if they desire that nest. Even as small as the owls are they can exhibit some agressiveness . I found it surprising one time to witness one of the small burrowing owls chasing a coyote off (unfortunately I did not have a camera with me at the time) . The coyote was running like its tail on fire with the owl close behind.

The choice of size of any wire fabric will determine what will/can be allowed to pass through it . Standard hardware cloth will stop snakes and most lizards although occassionally I have found lizrdards sometimes entrapped in it . Standard what is referred to as "chicken wire" I have found can entrap some sizes of snakes but the ground squirels can still sucessfully pass through that .

The size of opening will determine what you wish/desire to pass through so any screening/wire fabric can be thought of as a filter of sorts . just as when building nesting boxes . Blue birders have dtermined a starling resistant size of hole for thier boxes . Most creatures will desire an opening sufficent that they are capable of squeezing through but small enough that a larger predator/antagonist cannot . I felt it necessary to extend the chain link fabric below surface ground level so as to attempt to stop anything from burrowing under the fabric . If the ground was unlevel for any reason a larger opening could be found so larger creatures would find/exploit that . I have observed quail passing through some chain link fence on my property so in choosing a "filter" for the enhanced brush pile that fabric seemed to be a good chioce . Thier breeding season here will be coming up in a few months so time will tell , quail is one of the target species I was trying to attract with this housing . Rabbits excluded !
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:19 PM   #48
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Quote:
Even as small as the owls are they can exhibit some agressiveness . I found it surprising one time to witness one of the small burrowing owls chasing a coyote off (unfortunately I did not have a camera with me at the time)
Too bad about the camera--that would have been a sight to see! I am thinking that I might like to eventually do something like this with rocks, as we have lizards around here. Do you think that chain link or similar material would be a help or hinderance to lizards (they're usually no longer than 8", tail included)?
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:53 PM   #49
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That was the question I was just about to ask, "What are you looking to have use this pile?". Quail sounds good, any other ideas what might use such cover.

Excellent pictures. When do you expect to start seeing activity? When does nest scouting start in your area?
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:06 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biigblueyes View Post
As usual, you have a well-done, enormous project going there.

What are you pondering for your next adventure?

OK popcorn muncher, are you saying that you find me amusing ? I will provide you with some pics of both ongoing and contemplated projects tommorrow .
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