Owls are amazing birds. They make good neighbors, eating mice and rats around your property. If you want to attract owls, you can build an owl house for the birds to nest in.
Owls provide pest protection
You can control rodents with traps inside or feral cats outside, but those are undesirable. An owl can eat at least a dozen mice per night, keeping them out of your house. One caution: If you have a small dog like a Yorkie or chihuahua, the owl may view your little fur baby as prey.
Who’s hooting around your haunt?
Before building and mounting an owl house, determine which native species inhabit your area. You can get this information from your state’s parks and wildlife or your county’s agricultural extension agency.
Owls come in various sizes, so you’ll need your owl box to fit the most common species in your area.
Barn owls need a nesting box approximately 38 inches tall, 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep. This will comfortably house a couple of owls with a brood of fledglings. Screech or barred owls are smaller and need much less space: 12 inches tall by 8 inches wide and deep.
Building the owl box
An owl box is shaped like a shoe box and mounts with the length on the vertical. The entrance should be about one-third of the way from the bottom on a vertically mounted box. For barn owls, the entry hole should be seven inches square, and for smaller owls, four inches square. Drill a few drain holes into the floor.
Always use untreated wood that has not been painted or stained.
Location, location, location
Secure your owl box about 12 feet above the ground to a tree, post or the side of a two-story structure such as a barn. The owl will be most attracted to a box mounted at the edge of an open field.
Face the owl box’s entrance to the north to prevent direct sunlight from heating the inside.
Enjoy the presence of your owl neighbor. He’s a hoot to have around.
Related – Birdhouses Attract Beautiful Birds