South Wind Farm is home to the Body Therapy Institute, a massage and healing arts school nestled into the heart of the Silk Hope community in Chatham County. BTI, as it is called by students and faculty, is a very special place, considered by many to be one of the best massage schools in the country. The land itself is designed to soothe body and soul, as woodlands turn to open grasslands yielding eventually to a picturesque little pond. Breathing becomes noticeably easier the moment you enter the driveway.
South Wind Farm and BTI also happen to have good habitat for Barn Owls. Only a couple of miles from our existing Silk Hope nest boxes, South Wind Farm provides necessary open space, along with proximity to working farms in the near vicinity. Since Barn Owls are known to have very large home ranges, and may forage up to five miles from a nesting site, the surrounding landscape is as important as the potential nest site itself.
When we originally scouted sites in Silk Hope, I couldn't imagine better guardians of a nest box than Rick Rosen and Carey Smith, the owners of South Wind Farm and BTI. Having gone to the school myself, back in the mid-90's, I knew them not only to be great people, but avid birdwatchers as well. The feeders at the school are typically covered in goldfinches, and bluebirds are a common site almost every day of the year.
The nest box was installed within a hedgerow, at the edge of a draw, close to the pond.
Mounted on a 12 foot 4x4, the Barn Owl box blends in nicely with the overall aesthetic of the property. Look closely at the right side of the photo below, and you may see the small white speck along the hedgerow.
As one of the few truly rural areas of the Triangle region, the Silk Hope community may offer some of our best hopes for attracting imperiled Barn Owls back to the area. We now have five installations in Chatham County, with hopes of more in the future. Will the healing vibe of BTI and South Wind Farm attract a nesting pair in the next season or two??