Best option – Barn Owl nestbox inside a building
- Is easier to erect.
- Costs less, or is quicker and cheaper to make.
- Lasts much longer.
- Affords extra shelter (that’ll be great for the owls).
If you have a building with no high-up entrance hole, can a small owl-hole be made? Mounting an owl box on the outside of a building has many disadvantages and is not recommended unless there is no alternative. Buildings that are in human or agricultural use can be very suitable; Barn Owls can get used to almost any kind of activity as long as they can stay out of sight.
Tell me about Barn Owl nestboxes for buildings.
2nd best option – Barn Owl nestbox in a tree
- More expensive to obtain or make than indoor boxes.
- More difficult to erect than indoor boxes.
- Don’t last as long due to partial exposure to the elements.
- Don’t provide as much shelter.
Also there’s a greater chance of occupation by some other species. However, provided that you have a suitable tree in a suitable position, they are a much more practical option than a polebox.
Tell me about Barn Owl nestboxes for trees.
3rd best option – Barn Owl nestbox on a pole
- The most expensive by far.
- The hardest to erect.
- Not going to last long, compared with a nestbox in a building.
- Completely exposed to the weather.
The only major advantage of an outdoor polebox is that it can be provided almost anywhere. You are not dependent on there being a suitable building or tree on-site. The pole needs to be very substantial and generally has to be erected by machine – the costs are considerable.
Tell me about pole mounted nestboxes for Barn Owls.
- Choose a well-designed owl house! The old adage “you get what you pay for” does not apply to Barn Owl nestboxes. There are some very badly designed owl boxes on the market!
Order a Barn Owl Trust nestbox.
- Don’t use a box at all! Why not create a home for owls in your loft? Barn conversions or farm houses are not the only types of building that can have an owl nesting space built-in.
How to create a nesting space for Barn Owls within a building project.
- Barn Owls can’t eat boxes! Managing land for Barn Owls to boost their food supply is even more important than erecting nestboxes.
- Find out if your landscape is suitable. Barn Owls in the UK generally avoid urban and suburban areas, dense forest and high mountains.
- If you want to put a camera in the box it’s a good idea to plan this before you buy or build your owl home, otherwise the camera-view may not be great. Additionally, nesting birds and their dependent young must not be disturbed. Barn Owls and the law.
Find out more about Barn Owl nest boxes in the Barn Owl Conservation Handbook.