People have been installing bird houses at their homes for decades. But a new trend with homeowners and bird enthusiasts is installing a barn owl nesting box at their home or on their property.
Barn owls are fascinating birds of prey. Their unparalleled beauty and grace combined with their cunning, intelligence and tender heart makes them one of nature’s most intriguing creatures. But due to their nocturnal nature, few people get the opportunity to witness the beauty and noble behavior of the barn owl.
Installing an Air-Superiority owl nest box at your home is a sure way to bring the finesse of the barn owl to your life. We have been designing and building bird boxes and owl houses since 1992. We pioneered the owl box industry with the original owl nesting box and were the first to introduce a commercial barn owl box with a closed circuit camera system.
The barn owl’s immense golden wingspan and heart-shaped face is enough to want to bring a pair of nesting owls to your home, but there are many reasons to promote the nesting of barn owls near you.
Although various species of barn owls can be found around the world, many areas are experiencing severe declines in their populations. Some areas have listed the barn owl as a threatened or even endangered species. Urban sprawl, habitat destruction and the use of agricultural poisons and pesticides are a few reasons for their decline.
Installing owl nest boxes on your property is an ideal way to enjoy the grace of these magnificent creatures while providing a barn owl habitat to encourage their population growth.
Barn owls are a farmers best defense against rodent infestation. A barn owl’s diet consists mainly of small rodents such as voles, mice and rats. Installing barn owl boxes around your home, farm, vineyard, garden or homestead is the perfect natural rodent control method.
Introducing predators to your farm is a far superior form of rodent control opposed to conventional methods such as trapping and the use of poisons.
Rodents learn to avoid traps and poisons that compromise the quality of ecosystems and the population of desirable animals.
A single pair of barn owls can consume up to 2000 rodents a year. When feeding babies that number drastically increases.
A pair with 6 babies can consume 1000’s of rodents in the offspring’s first 3 months of nesting.
Rat poison kills every young barn owl chick it comes into contact with.
More barn owls die from being secondarily poisoned by rodenticides in California than all other species combined.
Watching the habits of a pair of barn owls is enchanting. Their complex forms of communication and tender display of emotion to one another is engaging and entertaining to observe. It is very common for the same pair of barn owls to nest in the same box allowing you to watch them and their offspring grow. Air-Superiority offers owl nesting boxes with built in camera systems.
These systems allow you to observe the daily habits of your resident owls from the comfort of your home without disturbing the natural behavior of the owls.
After the first camera was installed, it soon became apparent of an unexpected behavior. The female owl becomes quite protective of the newly hatched chicks and forces the male owl from the security of the nest box (footage here) for the duration of the nesting season.
The male continues to feed the mother owl however, and her chicks at night, providing 100% of the food in early spring. But in the day without a nest box of his own, the male barn owl usually sleeps on a nearby tree limb. It is here that he can be spotted by the owl’s mortal enemies, mainly crows. Crows usually kill any unprotected owls.
Without him, the owl’s chicks will starve. Feeding their growing young owlets huge amounts of protein, is where Barn Owls perform their greatest duty. That is controlling rodent populations. Click the image to view the video.
All barn owls are safe from crows and their other enemies like hawks, raccoons and snakes, when residing in these nest boxes and is why they seek these habitats. The male needs a nest box to hide in too, this is called “cover”. The cover the boxes provide, is why we recommend a minimum of two owl nest boxes minimum, his and hers. One box is better than none and sometimes works fine, but two boxes is cheap insurance against nest failure and rodents running amuck.
All owls are predators; they depend on other animals for food. In fact, owls often eat other predators, such as weasels, bats, shrews, and insect-eating birds. Owls do have some predators that feed on them (coyotes, foxes, skunks, crows, hawks, and some other owls).
Some species of owl eat animals like shrews skunks etc etc BUT NOT BARN OWLS! This species dedicates itself to gophers rats and mice primarily, with a few insects like crickets.
With this in mind, we know that owls hold a position near the top of the food chain.
Some other predators, like Bats, are also important parts of our ecosystem… consuming and controlling unwanted insects.
Below are some photos (thanks to a wildlife rehabber) of Barn Owls and Owlets that were poisoned by rodenticides like “rat bait”. Using NATURAL PREDATORS is a better answer to a rodent problem.
Air Superiority has been designing, building and installing owl nest boxes for nearly two decades. We have the knowledge, passion and experience to help you find an owl box that fits your needs.
Whether you are looking for pest control for your agricultural fields or simply desire to closely observe the charming grace of the barn owl, we have the perfect owl nest box for you.