The sound of an owl hooting at night is better than any lullaby.
While it can be difficult to attract these glorious birds to your yard, it’s worth checking out how to make your property more inviting to owls.
1. Ensure That You Have A Supply Of Their Favorite Food
Laying in a supply of food for owls isn’t as easy as setting up a feeder station stocked with seeds and suet.
Owls will only eat live prey, usually small animals such as mice and rabbits. Some species also will eat insects, but for the most part, you need lots of furry critters around to keep owls nearby.
The best way to achieve this is by creating zones in your yard where rodents and other small creatures can take up residence.
If you have an out-of-the-way spot that can stand to be less than immaculate, consider creating a brush pile that will provide shelter for these animals. Leaving a portion of your lawn with longer grass will also encourage them.
Of course, if you already have a pest problem in your yard, you’ve got perfect owl-hunting conditions ready to go! You just might need to add some other amenities to draw them in and take care of your rats or rabbits.
2. Owls Need Perches
Adding perches around your property will be of great benefit to owls. They like to sit up high and watch for potential food scurrying down on the ground. Set up posts with horizontal perches for them.
If you put them near your vegetable garden, you may be able to get rid of pesky chipmunks and rabbits without having to set out traps!
3. Provide A Water Source
Owls appreciate a water source such as a pond or stream.
If you don’t have either, a good bird bath will still draw them in.
4. Set Out Owl Nesting Boxes
Providing owls with a ready-made home will save them the trouble of finding a good cavity in a dead tree.
Install these large boxes 12 to 30 feet above the ground, preferably away from human activity. Get them up by early winter so that you’ll be sure to have them ready for the roosting season.
Barn owls may also nest in the rafters of a barn or shed, so leaving entry points for them will make it more likely that they’ll choose your property as their home.
5. Owls Prefer Large Trees
If you already have large trees in your yard, you’ve got one of the main attractions for owls. They need mature trees with lots of leaf cover to stay in safely during the day.
Leave some large, dead horizontal branches for them to perch on.
Obviously, if your property doesn’t have those trees, you can’t do much in the short term, but it never hurts to plant more trees for the future.
6. They Work Best In The Dark
It is very important to give owls a dark environment at night. They don’t need lights to find their prey, and in fact, will stay away from well-lit areas.
Turning off outdoor lights when you don’t need them will create just the right conditions for their nocturnal hunting, and it will also give you a better view of the night sky!
7. Go Organic For Owls
If you want to encourage owls or any other birds to your yard, you should not use pesticides or herbicides.
First, pesticides that kill mice, chipmunks, rats, and other small creatures will eliminate the food source that they rely upon.
Second, if owls happen to eat something that has already ingested poison, they can be affected by it as well.
8. Keep Pets Indoors At Night
There are a couple of good reasons for keeping your pets indoors at night.
In the first place, you don’t want your dog barking at owls and scaring them off. And you certainly don’t want an owl to decide that your cat will make a good meal!
9. Don’t Leave Nets Up
The last thing you want is for an owl to become entangled in your basketball or volleyball net.
Take things like those down at night.