West of Westlake
We are where the wild still roam,
like big cats and gators that wander alone,
and small cats and owls who look for a home,
yes, this is where the wild still roam –
West of Westlake.
Located west of Florida’s newest city, Westlake, (as of 2017), we consider the area to be somewhat unique for Palm Beach County. Five acres per lot is the least you can come by out here. Many are ten, some twenty, and many are many more.
The huge Minto development to our east – the City of Westlake – has been steadily building and is due to have a massive amount of residential and commercial development. All of this construction, along with Arden directly to our south, has been driving more and more wildlife our way, west of Westlake.
Also slated for development is the smaller tract of farmland that lies in between Westlake and the remaining private streets to the west, as well as the old Santa Rosa Groves. But right now, the Westlake project is making the most impact. Hence the name West of Westlake. Plus, it just sounds better than West of GL Homes or North of Arden, which technically, we are, as well as east of the L-8 or south of the old Santa Rosa Groves.
To share solutions for displaced wildlife, many of which, have been shared with us, is our mission.
For the over-abundance of barn owls, we decided to build owl boxes. Clicking on this link will take you to the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society’s resource page for building a barn owl box, at https://scvas.org/build-a-barn-owl-box.
This particular box was designed by Steve Simmons of Merced, California. Since 1995, the box has been used extensively and has proven to be a good home for barn owls. Through a massive program of building owl boxes, followed by studying the occupants via banding, Mr. Simmons became a significant contributor to bird ecology.
Some of Mr. Simmons’ studies included, noting their courtship behavior, observing the competition between owls and other avian species, and deciphering their diet. He experimented with the design of the box and mounting procedures to ensure the best possible outcome. As of 2010, he had banded over 14,000 owls.
Of course, there are potential disadvantages to housing owls nearby and we cannot advocate that it is a good idea for everyone. We can only say that for us, so far so good. If you are interested, however, you can find out so much more by clicking the link above.
Other solutions we have experience with in the wild include:
- Cats – stray, feral, or dumped
- Dogs – dumped
Click on the link above to see more of what you are interested in seeing.
How You Can Help
Build an Owl Box
If you live in an area conducive to housing owls, building an owl box or two, just might attract a family of owls, helping to offset the reduced numbers of barn owls over the last century due to habitat reduction. If you are not sure if you are in a good area, see page 22 of the directions (same link above, and here) to help you decide.
Donate an Owl Box
If you live in the city and know you can not have an owl box in your yard but want to help house an owl, you can donate as little as a dollar toward a sheet of plywood. We also accept donations of plywood in acceptable condition. Click here to get the particulars on donating full 3/4″ sheets of plywood, or click here to donate.
Shop Our Store
We have partnered with Miss Kitty’s Long Branch Ranch, Help Save the Strays and Susie Sells Seashells to help raise funds through an online thrift store. Shop gently used stuff at susiesellsseashells.com, from glassware to books and tchotchkes for nooks, most of which came from an estate in Key Biscayne, Florida.