Encourage owls into the surburb

Picture of an owl.


A Strathaven resident, Genie Gerber, is determined to spread the word and increase the number of the majestic owls in her suburb.

She describes herself as a resident who is creating awareness on behalf of these beautiful creatures that naturally occur in Sandton. She stressed that the main hurdle facing owls is the use of rat poison. As a consequence of owls feeding on poisoned rats, they, too, succumb to the poison. She explained that owls also feed these rats to their young.

She is urging all of the residents in Strathaven and the surrounding areas to stop using rat poison to get rid of rodents in their homes.

According to her, the best solution to the problem is to encourage owls into the suburb because they can eat up to three rodents nightly. Owls are, therefore, a valuable component in natural and poison-free rodent control.

Gerber lives adjacent to a river and is surrounded by trees and flora. She explained that this area is perfect for owls.

Read Bryanston welcomes new born owls

When the Sandton Chronicle visited Gerber on 9 February, she explained the technical process used to introduce the owls back into her community. “[In my complex] is a pen. These owls are part of the EcoSolutions owl release programme. For a few weeks, they eat baby chicks. When we feed them we blow a special whistle.”

When the owls are ready, the doors to the pen are then opened and the food is left on the roof of the pen in order for the owls to continue receiving food once they have been released. The owls then leave the pen and slowly find their way to the river area.

This release programme was initiated by EcoSolutions, which focuses on urban conservation projects such as this. This programme is undertaken in numerous estates and schools within the Johannesburg area.

Attached to the owl’s pen in the Strathaven complex is an EcoSolutions statement that explains the joy that the programme has brought to communities. It states, “Participation in the owl release programme has captured the imagination of both adults and children alike. Feeding teams and rosters, release day countdowns and post-release observations have all left participants feeling a sense of accomplishment and a greater appreciation for the avian fauna that occurs within their estate.”

Details: [email protected]

When last did you see an owl in your community? Let us know on @Sandton_News

Pascale Michael

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