Barn Owl Nest Box Project

Photo: Deanna Broderick

Photo: Deanna Broderick

In to help increase the number of Barn Owls in the area, Menunkatuck Audubon Society has started a Barn Owl nest box project. Our plan is to partner with local landowners who have suitable forage area to install Barn Owl boxes. Our goal is that with suitable nest sites in a larger area we can increase the Barn Owl population in southern Connecticut. We are also partnering with Guilford High School’s woodworking classes; they built ten nest boxes according to our design recommendations with material that Menunkatuck supplied. The metal shop students built baffles. 

Barn Owls require open fields, meadows, and marshland over which they can glide and listen for prey. To support a growing family an area of 10-20 acres. Because Barn Owls are not territorial an area of 50 acres with a good supply of rodents can support five or six pairs.

Nest boxes can be installed on the side of a building or on a free-standing post away from regular human disturbance. The nest box does not need to be installed in the foraging area. Barn Owls will fly up to a mile from the nest site to find prey.

barn-owl-feeding-chicksA safe location for a Barn Owl box is away from roads with heavy traffic, especially at dusk, night, and dawn. Another hazard for Barn Owls in Guilford is the Amtrak corridor; a Barn Owl crossing tracks would be flying at a height that could result in a collision and death.

Although the box design we are using has features to lessen predation by raccoons, we will install a predator guard.

If you think you have suitable habitat for a Barn Owl nest box, email Tom Kelly at tom@menunkatuck.org. We will come and do a survey of your property and if it would support Barn Owls, we will install a nest box for you.