Welcome to the Barn Owl Box Company Website!
Barn Owl, Kestrel, Screech Owl, and Bluebird Nest Boxes to attract raptors and songbirds for natural Pest Control and Conservation. Vineyard, orchard, crop, and property owners, enhance your rodent and pest control programs while helping preserve these beautiful birds.
Designed by a leading barn owl researcher, our patented nest boxes designed for barn owls, kestrels, screech owls, bluebirds, and songbirds are the first lightweight, long-lasting plastic nest boxes for these colorful and highly valuable species. The design of our nest boxes is based on the latest research into the biology and nesting habits of these various birds. Constructed of rugged, molded plastic, our nest boxes will not rot, will not need rebuilt or replaced, and will last indefinitely. Their light weight makes them easy to install, whether on a metal pole, wooden post, outbuilding, or tree. Each nest box comes with all the necessary hardware for mounting. Their seamless plastic construction, rain guards, and weatherproof vents make them the driest, best-constructed nest boxes on the market.
This website provides in-depth directions on placement and installation of these various nest boxes, and comprehensive information on the biology of each species and how to use them for natural pest control. Read this page for links to the various pages, or use our Menu to navigate.
Our Nest Boxes
The highly successful Barn Owl Nest Box comes in two models: each features a 5.5” entrance hole, landing ledge, rain guard, acrylic viewing window for viewing eggs and chicks, and a removable front for easy cleaning. The Pole Model (on left) incorporates a double-box system, heat resistant pigments, and highly efficient venting to stay cool in full sun.
The Barn Model (below right) fits into the side of a barn and allows owls access to the nest box but not the barn itself. This also prevents pest species from entering the barn. Both models of nest box come with all the mounting hardware and a brochure on placement, installation, and maintenance.
The Barn Owl Nest Box is now in use by the Departments of Natural Resources of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Audubon Societies of Illinois and South Carolina. For in-depth information on barn owls, using barn owls for rodent control, and our research projects, go to our page on Barn Owl Biology . Be sure to join in the discussions in our Barn Owl Forum where growers, conservationists, and nature lovers share their experiences and comments on the barn owl.
Our Screech Owl Nest Box is excellent for attracting screech owls to yards and gardens. Its bark brown color blends in with the tree trunks where it is installed, and its width, depth, and entrance hole are perfect for these little, softly singing owls. Along with weather-proof vents, rain guard, and interior ladder, the Screech Owl Nest Box comes with a steel mounting bracket that makes it easy to attach to a tree or post.
The Kestrel Nest Box, similar in size and construction to the Screech Owl Nest Box, is constructed of white plastic. The white color is used for two reasons: to keep the nest box cool in full sun where most kestrel nest boxes are erected; and to provide the high amount of interior lighting that kestrels have been shown to prefer inside their nests. The Kestrel Nest Box features a molded-in channel on the rear to accept a 1” diameter metal pipe for easy installation. All the hardware for mounting to a pipe or wooden surface is included. See our Kestrel Biology page for more information on kestrels, their conservation, and using kestrels for natural rodent control.
The Bluebird House incorporates many of the design elements of the Kestrel and Screech Owl Nest Boxes. Designed with all of the latest information on the best construction methods in mind, our Bluebird House comes with an array of innovative features. In addition to the rain guard, weather-proof vent wings, access panel, and interior ladder, the Bluebird House has a molded-in channel in the back for accepting a ½” diameter metal pipe for easy mounting. It comes with all of the hardware for mounting to a metal pipe, wooden post, outbuilding, or tree.
A new innovation is the inclusion of plastic hole-plugs for closing the twelve 3/8” vents in the wings to either regulate internal temperature of the nest box or to exclude black flies where they are prevalent. For more information on bluebirds, navigate to our pages on Bluebird Biology and consider contributing to our Bluebird Forum where bluebird enthusiasts from around North America post questions, answers and comments on bluebirds and best methods for creating bluebird trails.
The Wren/Songbird House is perfect for a host of backyard birds, including the various species of wren, chickadees, nuthatches, and titmice. Almost anywhere you live, including suburbs and even cities, you can count on having some of these birds in your area to attract to your yard. The Wren/Songbird House comes with all the hardware and a unique mounting plate for attaching to trees, posts, or buildings. Read more about creating habitat for wildlife and Attracting Backyard Birds.
Our Pole Systems: To enable easy and inexpensive installation of barn owl and bluebird nest boxes, we offer pole kit systems for both species. Both our Barn Owl Nest Box Pole and our Bluebird House Pole are constructed of galvanized metal, and we make a special effort to keep the price low to encourage the use of barn owls and bluebirds for pest control and conservation.
Using Barn Owls, Kestrels, and Bluebirds for Pest Control:
Barn owls have been contributing to rodent control long before the term integrated pest management was born. Since humans planted crops and built shelters, barn owls have lived in close proximity to us. In recent years, using barn owls for pest management has become much more sophisticated. Farms have been able to establish densities of up to one pair for every 20 acres or less, creating an efficient rodent killing system that is self-perpetuating.
The Barn Owl Box Company began with the production of the Barn Owl Nest Box. The creation of the Barn Owl Box was inspired by the successful programs of natural rodent control reported by farmers in places as far apart as California, Malaysia, South East Asia, and Israel. Vineyards and orchards in California have used barn owls for natural rodent control for decades and reporting positive results. Today, hundreds of farms throughout the state have erected thousands of nest boxes for these large owls.
The large numbers of barn owls present in California, coupled with dense populations of pocket gophers and voles, prompted Mark Browning, the designer of the Barn Owl Box, to conduct a research project, the Barn Owl/Rodent Project, now in its third year, designed to measure the suppressive effects of a large and dense population of barn owls on a resident population of rodent pests in a 100-acre vineyard near Sacramento. LINK.
The results have been impressive. In 2011, 11 pairs of barn owls were attracted to the vineyard and successfully fledged 44 young for a total of 66 owls living on the vineyard. In 2012, 18 pairs of barn owls produced 66 young for a total of 102 owls, a prodigious, population of owls never achieved on such a small plot of land, showing just how successful farmers can be at establishing robust numbers of these predators.
The reasons that barn owls nest box programs can be used in this way have to do with the unique nature of barn owl biology:
- Barn owls are cavity nesters, dependent upon large hollow trees or some other type of hollow. This means that they can be easily attracted to nest boxes.
- Barn owls live and raise young comfortably around human activity such as busy farmyards and agricultural fields
- Barn owls are not territorial; they often form nesting colonies in small areas, allowing farmers to establish many nest boxes within sight of each other
- Barn owls raise large numbers of young for a raptor—up to 13 young have been recorded in one nest, although 4 to 7 is more common
- Barn owls respond to higher rodent numbers by producing more young per brood, and producing more than one brood per year.
- Because they have such voracious appetites and have so many young, a single family of barn owls can consume over 1000 pocket gophers per year, or over 3000 mice or voles.
- Barn owls are extremely faithful to their nest sites, raising young year after year; and as older barn owls perish, new ones take their places.
- Once established, barn owls need very little maintenance, and can create a population that remains for many years.
- Barn owl nest boxes are very economical when compared to the costs of poisons and other methods.
Bluebirds have been proven to be significant reducers of pest insects harmful to crops. Since the bluebird has rebounded from its earlier decline in numbers (due to dedicated efforts of conservationists), they have found a new and respected role as contributors to integrated pest management programs. Trails of bluebird houses have sprung up in every state, bolstering their numbers.
Kestrel nest boxes too are now being used to attract kestrels to vineyards and orchards in an effort to use the kestrel as a day-time complement to the barn owl. By attracting diurnal hawks such as the kestrel, farmers increase pressure on resident rodent populations that complements the efforts of the nocturnal barn owl.
This site is designed to help you understand barn owl, kestrel, screech owl, and bluebird biology, how to attract these species, how best to apply integrated pest management methods using these birds for natural rodent control, and give you information on the biology of common pest species, including pocket gophers, voles, mice, and rats, and the various insect pests that are reduced by bluebirds. Our Barn Owl Status page includes a state by state analysis of barn owl populations. Also, look for links to articles on using barn owls and kestrels for rodent control in vineyards, sugar cane, orchards, crop farms, and dairy farms. Our Bluebird House page provides similar information for utilizing bluebirds for pest control.