Installation and Placement
The Barn Owl Box Company prides itself on making nest boxes simple and easy to install. Both the Pole Model and the Barn Model Barn Owl Boxes have been made simple to assemble and to erect. Each model can be installed on a pole, post, or outbuilding in about an hour. Their light weight compared to wooden boxes makes them much easier to carry up a ladder, and each comes with its own mounting bracket and hardware as well as detailed installation instructions. Our Kestrel, Screech Owl, Bluebird, and Wren/Songbird nest boxes are even easier to install due to their small size, molded channels for mounting on poles in the rear, and/or metal mounting brackets that are included with purchase.
The Pole Model mounts to any wooden post (4 x 4 or 6 x 6) or the flange on a metal pole. Either way, the 8 x 16 inch galvanized metal support bracket first gets attached to the top of the post or pole with four fasteners, then four bolts fit through predrilled holes in the floor of the Barn Owl Box and are secured with washers and nuts on the underside of the support. See our E-Z Barn Owl Box Pole Kit for a fast, economical way to install this model.
The Barn Model is designed to be installed in either a metal or wooden barn. Two best method of installation is to cut a 17.5″ square in the side of the barn at the desired height, install the support bracket on the interior, and slide the box in from the outside, then attach the front. All that remains visible is the front with its entrance hole, rain guard, and landing ledge. Once the box is installed, neither pest species nor the barn owls will have access to the interior of the barn.
- Height: Plenty of advice has been given on height, and often a twelve foot minimum is cited. The truth is, eight to ten feet is quite fine, and enables the owner to check the box more easily and safely.
- Direction: Since the nest box comes with such a prominent rain guard, it does not matter which way you face the box in terms of weather. On the other hand, if mounting the Pole Model in a sunny location, face the front away from the south since it is the only surface not protected by the double-box system. Keep in mind that research has shown that easterly facing directions are favored (NE, SE, or E)
- Open Area: Most importantly, whether installing a Barn or Pole Model, try to face the front of the box toward an open area so that passing barn owls will catch a glimpse of the dark entrance hole. That is what they are attracted to when searching for nesting sites.
- Bedding: Place a bed of mulch (preferably hardwood) on the floor of the box one to two inches deep. This keeps the eggs from rolling and breaking, and provides the owls a softer place to rest. Pine and fir are acceptable, but avoid cedar, sawdust, and wood shavings.
- If using a wooden post to mount the Pole Model, wrap the post with a 24″ piece of sheet metal, beginning at about three feet up, to keep raccoons and other predators from climbing.
- See our Barn Owl Box Pole System
Maintenance of the Barn Owl Box
Since the box is made of molded plastic, it needs little care. Although barn owls do not clean out their own nests, it is a good idea to replace the mulch every year or two in a box being used by owls. Some organic and sustainable programs may require an annual cleaning. Check with your local certifying organization.
- Always use gloves and a surgical mask when cleaning out a bird nesting area.