I want to encourage owls in my backyard. Should I put up an owl box for them? Where’s the best place for it?
The only local species that would use an owl box is the Barn Owl, and they now prefer to nest in palm trees. Since we have so many palm trees around, your owl box might not attract any owls. However, I sometimes suggest that people put up a box anyway, since it sends a message to your neighbors that you understand the ecological value of owls as predators who help us keep rodents in check. The Audubon California website has some tips for building and locating your box.
As an owl-lover you are probably already aware of the danger posed by rodenticides to the rest of the food web, including owls, and this is also a good piece of information to share with your neighbors.
Krista Fahy, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology