Safety First! Attracting Owls to Your Backyard

Barred Owl Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila


Who doesn’t love owls? Not only are they wonderful to see, but they also control the rodent population. And many owl species, like this Barred Owl, will use nest boxes. But they can be easily put in harm’s way if their welfare isn’t considered. This is the time of year to be getting nestboxes for owls out, but before you start building boxes, it’s a good idea to make sure your area is safe for them. The Owl Research Institute has some practical advice about how to attract owls to your area, and also determining if putting up a nestbox is going to be safe for them once the owls start nesting.

Want to check to see if your yard is safe for owls?
  • Do you have a lot of high-speed roadways near your home where owls could collide with vehicles?
  • Are there farms near you that use pesticides, herbicides or other potentially-harmful agrochemicals regularly?
  • Do you use rodenticide chemicals regularly?
  • Can you think of any other environmental factors in your area that might harm an owl?
If you answer ‘yes’ to these questions, your location is dangerous for owls. If ‘no’, then your property is a good potential spot for a nestbox and welcoming resident owls.
Read more about responsibly hosting, photographing and watching owls from the Owl Research Institute.
If you have them in the area and your location is safe, to invite Barred Owls to your yard, check out these nest box plans from NestWatch.