Aggressive interactions between barn owls and other species such as screech owls or songbirds are quite rare. In any given environment, it is possible to mix all of the species that we offer nest boxes for. After all, all of these species coexist in many ecosystems and flourish together.
Our pole kit comes with a slightly larger-in-diameter base pipe that is four feet long. In most areas, you should be able to drive this section about two feet into the ground, tamp the soil around it, and then drop in the 8’ assembled piece that will hold the nest box in the air. It is a quick and easy install. However in areas of very rocky ground, digging a hole and filling it with cement may be the only solution.
Yes. We have never had a wind failure in our Pole Kits. The iron is quite strong.
The best practice is to clean out any nest box that has been occupied after the breeding season. You simply remove the front, slide out the inner liner, dump it, and place more mulch inside. This will safely be done anywhere from September to November. However, since barn owls sometimes breed in the offseason, if you do encounter birds, eggs, or chicks at the time of cleaning, just put off cleaning until the next year.
Yes. The birds do not mind some sway. Keep in mind that they frequently nest in trees, even on dead palm fronds that sway in the wind.
Our patented design incorporates a number of innovations including heat-reflective pigments and highly efficient venting. Chicks annually fledge successfully in boxes in full sun in south Florida, Texas, and California—so, the answer is yes. The box stays near ambient temperature even in full sun.
The answer is no. We have impregnated the Pole Model Nest Box with bright white pigments in order to repel radiant heat and keep the nest box cool for the adults and young. Painting the box, even a light tan, would compromise this important function.
Often, people want to be as near the nest as possible to be able to hear and see their resident birds. Since barn owls are highly tolerant of human activity, the answer is that barn owls will often nest very near a house. We have photos of occupied boxes as little as thirty feet away from the house. During breeding season the birds can be very vocal at night, and when the chicks are nearly grown, they spend a lot of time near the entrance, begging for food. So, perhaps a distance of fifty feet minimum is a good compromise.
You will occasionally hear that barn owl boxes need no bedding—that they use their own pellets for bedding. But this will not be enough to cover the floor by the time the eggs are laid. Always place 3-4 inches of garden mulch across the entire floor. This mulch should not be shredded, but be large pieced. Bark mulch made from pine, fir, or hardwood is best. Ace Hardware sells a product called Western Bark Mulch which is ideal.
Numerous studies show that a density of one barn owl nest box for every 10 to 20 acres is ideal. These figures come from studies done in Malaysia and the United States.
Since barn owls in most areas of North America begin nesting anywhere from January through April, the easiest answer is to get the boxes installed between December and early March. We have installed boxes in March in California that received high occupancy by April. But the fact is that the best time to put up a box is when you have time. No matter what time of year, barn owls will begin to see the box and become accustomed to it prior to breeding season.
We have seen barn owls nesting as little as ten feet apart and there are plenty of instances in which several pairs were found nesting in a single barn. To stay on the safe side, we would recommend separating boxes by 50 to 100 feet minimum.