Who Gives a Hoot? How Owl Boxes Help Us Farm More Sustainably.

This Spring Winemaker Patrick Muran built a half dozen new boxes for our resident barn owls. We’ll be installing them in the vineyard and can’t wait to see some of our owls find a new home. We’re replacing some older boxes and adding a few new locations. Thank you to Patrick for making them!


Barn owls are cavity nesters. In the wild they nest in the cavities created when branches break away from the trunks of trees. Barn owls compete for nesting cavities with other birds, like kestrels, and sometimes cannot find a place to nest. However, they will happily take up residence in human-made structures such as barns or nesting boxes!

By installing barn owl nesting boxes on poles around the vineyard we create habitat ideally suited to their needs and attract nesting pairs close to where the gophers are. The more boxes the better. Giving them options makes nesting around the vineyard more likely as well as creating habitat for more barn owls.

A nesting pair of barn owls consumes over 700 gophers each year! And they can produce a clutch of 3-7 hungry owlets each year, making for some serious rodent population reduction.

Build your own!

You can provide your own housing for barn owls! Winemaker Patrick Muran followed the specs of famed Ecologist Steve Simmons, whose design has been very popular since its debut in 1995. “Build a Barn Owl Box” (© February 2012) by Charles G. Wade, Lee Pauser, and David Altknecht.

Download Owl Box Plans Here »

A photo of a barn owl and her clutch of babies captured in Spring of 2024! You can even see the multiple ”delicacies’ that she has collected to feed her little owlets.