Posts

Newly Published Paper Shows How Barn Owls Can Reduce Rodents in Agriculture

,

66 young barn owls fledged from 18 active nests in 2012 on a single 100 acre vineyard.

The Barn Owl/Rodent Study

Just published in the Journal of Pest Management, Newport Beach, California: From 2011 through 2013, researcher Mark Browning and a team of students from U.C. Davis and Columnes River College saturated a 100-acre vineyard south of Sacramento, California with 25 barn owl nest boxes, eventually resulting in a population of 36 adult owls that fledged 66 young. This produced a population of 102 barn owls hunting the vineyard and surrounding area. Using data gleaned from nest box cams, the research was able to conclude that this rather incredible density of owls consumed 30,000 + rodents over a three year period. Statistical analysis showed a strong correlation of number of owls to a decline in rodent activity. This study is the first of its kind to accurately record the number of rodent deliveries to growing barn owl chicks, and the first to establish the economic value of barn owls to farmers and property owners. Cost comparison data showed that the average cost of trapping per rodent was $8.11 while the nest box program resulted in a cost of .27 per rodent taken by barn owls. This provides very valuable and useful information for farmers to use in assessing the effectiveness and results of barn owl nest box programs.

Here is the full text of the paper:

Prey Consumption by a Large Aggregation of Barn Owls in an Agricultural Setting

Kansas Barn Owls

Barn Owls in Kansas

Kansas grasslands provide excellent barn owl habitat

Kansas grasslands provide excellent barn owl habitat

Kansas has abundant good habitat for barn owls including prairie, pasture, hayfields, river valleys, and scrublands, all with good supplies of food in the form of voles, mice, and kangaroo rats. Barn owls are present in every county, and anywhere they can find barns, outbuildings, abandoned houses, holes in cliffs, and nest boxes, they colonize very quickly. The main problem in Kansas is that suitable nesting sites in much of this good habitat are very scarce. Grasslands and hayfields stretch for miles without good nesting places.

Residents who put up nest boxes are often rewarded very quickly by barn owls taking up residence.

Barn owls both find and dig nest holes along the Cimarron River

Barn owls both find and dig nest holes along the Cimarron River

Max Thompson, a well-known birder and author of bird books of Kansas, agrees that a lack of nesting sites keeps barn owl populations lower than they could be. He does say that barn owls are common along the Cimarron River in the southwestern part of the state, particularly Morton County, where they find or even dig hollows in the clay and rock banks. This would indicate that anywhere in Kansas where high banks or cliffs border river valleys, barn owls will be present in good numbers. Both the Cimarron and the Arkansas River systems are comprised of many such tributaries.

Likewise, nest boxes should meet with good success in the state, since barn owls are always on the lookout for suitable breeding sites.

Kaboom Instant Rodent Control Offers Barn Owl Boxes In San Luis Obispo County

Pest Control Company In San Luis Obispo County offers Molded Plastic Nest Boxes for Barn Owls

kaboom_logokaboom_logoKABOOM! Instant Rodent Control, a fully licensed, registered and insured pest management company specializing in subterranean rodent eradication is now a distributor of the cutting edge, molded plastic nest boxes for barn owls made by The Barn Owl Box Company. In business since 2009, KABOOM! was developed with the sole purpose of eliminating underground rodents. Now, in addition to offering the P.E.R.C. (Pressurized Exhaust Rodent Controller), which uses carbon monoxide to kill rodents in their burrows, the company also sells the innovative Barn Owl Box which has been proven to attract barn owls quickly and in high numbers in a three year study.

The Pole Model

“The Barn Owl Box fits well into the scope of our business,” says Sheryl Cove who, with her husband Cory, owns and runs Kaboom. “A very important aspect of our business is that we deliver the nest boxes in our area and also install the next boxes utilizing our knowledge of barn owl nesting preferences. Installation often helps property owners make the decision to attract barn owls since many do not want to fuss with ladders, etc.”

“We support a clean environment along with farmers, ranchers and vineyard owners who want to protect their land from subterranean pest control problems and the damage caused by burrowing rodents. As requirements for rodent control are made more restrictive regarding the use of pesticides in public settings, we are here to offer the control needed to exterminate rodents while keeping children, families, pets and the environment safe. We don’t use any pesticides, poisons or toxins and with our process there are no Pesticide Use Reports to file. Barn Owls are a perfect addition to our line of products.”

“And we are proud to be a California Certified Small Business. Our client list includes government entities such as National Guard posts, schools districts, state and city parks as well as vineyards, cattle ranches, farms and neighborhoods. ”

Farmers Save Money Using the Plastic Barn Owl Box

The Barn Owl Box, designed by Mark Browning, owner of the Barn Owl Box Company, is a lightweight, long-lasting alternative to wooden boxes. “Farmers can save good money over time by utilizing our plastic design since the Barn Owl Box far outlasts wooden ones,” he says. “In addition, the nest boxes are very easy to install and have an excellent track record for attracting barn owls quickly and in high numbers. They are now in use by hundreds of vineyards and orchards as well as The Army Corps of Engineers and the Audubon Society.” The Barn Owl Box has been featured in an eight minute segment on PBS’s American Heartland and in AgAlert Magazine.

San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles Area Excellent Area for Utilizing Barn Owls

Not only does the central coast of California contain high populations of barn owls, the rich agriculture of the region has long utilized barn owls for natural rodent control. Both vineyards and orchards benefit by installing numbers of boxes to encourage the owls to nest. Barn owls are voracious rodent eaters, consuming high numbers while having large numbers of young, all of which contributes to an ability to keep rodent numbers in check.

Kaboom Maintains Inventory of Barn Owl Boxes

Kaboom! Instant Rodent Control is a licensed, registered and insured underground pest control service located on the California Central Coast in Paso Robles, California.

Pocket gopher mounds

Pocket gopher mounds

While serving Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, Kaboom provides a variety of environmentally safe, alternative pest control maintenance plans to eliminate your subterranean rodent problems for residential or commercial businesses.

Sheryl and Cory maintain an inventory of barn owl boxes and are happy to help farmers and property owners design effective nest box programs that can reduce or even eliminate the need for poisons or trapping. Their inventory allows folks to purchase the owl boxes locally while availing themselves, if needed, of Kaboom’s installation services.

If you are interested in barn owl nest boxes and you live in their region, Cory and Sheryl encourage you to contact them for more information on barn owls, and using barn owls for natural rodent control.

KABOOM! INSTANT RODENT CONTROL

Cory R. Cave

QAL #121261

Underground Pest Management

Fully Insured, Eco-friendly & No Poisons

805-434-7055

P.O. Box 1855

Paso Robles, CA 93447

www.kaboomnow.com