Owls usually choose their nesting area considering various things. If you can provide them with a suitable environment, then you can expect them to come to your area as well. Their presence can contribute to the biodiversity and pest control in your area.
How do you attract owls to your area? You can try the following things to turn your area into an owl sanctuary:
- Offering them food and drink is the first step.
- Building nest boxes for shelter
- Planting trees that are good for their roosting
- Arranging a small metal pool where they can bath
- Limiting exterior lights, cutting nets, and keeping your pets inside
Let’s explore the methods you can follow to draw owls in your yard and what factors you will need to consider.
How to Attract Owls to Your Area?
Owls are often difficult to see. You can attract them to your place by taking the following steps and enjoying their presence in your area.
1. Offer them Food and Drink
This is a must to do if you want owls in your place. Enough food source is a primary consideration of owls when choosing a nesting spot. Unlike other birds, you cannot attract them by offering grains or seeds.
You need to offer them living animals that they prefer, as they like to kill their food with their powerful claws. Mice, rats, frogs, and rabbits are some of their favorite prey. If you can manage these food sources for them, owls are expected to come.
Just like food, pure drinking water is important for birds, too. You have to ensure owls are getting enough drinking opportunities. You can keep a tray full of water and place it near their habitat.
2. Arranging A Birdbath Place
Owls enjoy taking baths and showers. If you arrange water for them where they can bathe, it will attract the owls greatly. You will see them coming back to your place from time to time to take a bath. You must stay away while they are bathing. It will save them from being scared.
3. Owl Nesting Box
Preparing owl nesting boxes is an effective approach to draw the attention of owls. You can build some small houses for them using wood and install them on trees. Try using a single sheet of 4-by-8-foot plywood to build the nest box.
You should keep the following things in mind while working on the nests:
- Mount the nesting box high above the ground on a tree or a pole
- Ensure that the entrance hole faces away from the winds.
- Place the nesting box in a location that receives partial sunlight. East or southeast is mostly the right direction.
- You should not keep walking around the box. Instead, you must ensure a minimal human disturbance around the nesting box area.
The following video will guide you on how to prepare the nest and how you can mount it on a tree:
4. Keep the Exterior Lights Turned Off
Owls are nocturnal, and so lead an active life during the nights. They go on searching for food, and once spotted, they will attack and kill their prey. If they notice too much brightness at your place, it will discourage them from coming near. Instead, you can fill your exterior with some dim lights.
Owls have a strong vision. In fact, they have one of the best visions among the avian predators. Their huge pupils produce an excellent night vision ability. However, they cannot see in total darkness. Therefore, you need to maintain a suitable lighting opportunity for them.
5. Plant Suitable Trees
If there are not enough trees in your place, then owls will not come. They like to hide on high branches that are dense with leaves. It protects them from being seen by their predators. Having big trees in your places can be considered a plus point.
You can also think of planting some spruce trees in your yard. These trees are healthy and attractive to rabbits and other rodents. An increasing number of these animals will make the place a good spot for hunting.
Owls will also come to your place to hunt their prey. Once they get to know about the abundance, they will make the place their sanctuary.
6. Clear Netting Out of Your Place
Clearing netting from your place is important to attract owls. Nets can be dangerous for owls as they might get caught in them while flying. Despite having excellent hearing and vision, owls often fail to detect nets.
Besides, owls need open spaces to hunt. A net-free area will give them the freedom to hunt without getting injured.
7. Mimic Owl Calls
You can use owl calls by imitating hoots or screeches. This will take some practice to master their calls, or you will find such sounds online. You can try softly, as owls tend to respond better to subtle calls. They often mistake it as mating calls. Repeat the calls with pauses, giving owls a chance to reply. You may have to be patient to get a reaction from them.
Things You Should Remember While Attracting Owls
While trying to attract them to your place, you should be concerned about different factors. You should not take any step that can harm them.
- Owls are most active during the night. Therefore, if you want to attract them by mimicking their calls, you have to attempt after sunset.
- If you want to see them once they have started to live in the house you built, you must dress appropriately. Wear dark, non-reflective clothing to blend into the surroundings and avoid startling the owls.
- If owls come to your place, you should not go anywhere near the nest when there are young babies out of the nest.
- You should always keep a respectful distance from the birds.
- Keep your pet animal enclosed after sunset. Owls can attack your livestock, cats, and other small pets.
- Don’t use any rodent pesticides or poisons to kill rodents in your yard or entire house area. Poison will harm the rodents, and they might not die instantly. When owls prey on these sick rodents, the poison in the rodents can harm owls.
- It is better to do some study to find out what species of owls are common around your place. This will help you provide the appropriate food for the species.
Here are some frequently asked questions that might be useful to solve your queries, too.
Attracting owls to your property can offer natural pest control. Owls feed on rodents and insects and help keep their populations in check.
You can attract owls in your area; there is no issue with that. However, it is not legal to draw owls in order to catch and own them. Keeping native owls as pets is not legal in most states in the US.
No, you should not play tape recordings to attract owls. Owls are attracted to natural sounds, such as calls or rustling leaves. Tape may not produce the desired effect and can also harm the owls or disrupt their environment.
Attracting owls in your area can make your place more diversified. You can arrange a nest box, mimic their calls, and offer them food and drink to attract them. Make sure there are no threatening predators to harm them.
You should focus on providing these avians with an environment where they can live comfortably without disturbance. This will help them reproduce and bring up their babies. This way, you will also contribute to establishing ecological balance.