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It is important to use alternatives to rodent poisons and let raptors and other wild animals do their jobs.
I include a link to the Raptor Pilot Study for Levee Protection. The Ventura County Watershed Protection District (WPD) completed the study to see if raptors such as hawks and owls can reduce ground squirrels around dams and levees. You can read about the success of the findings below.
We built two perches and put them up on 3/8/2020. We are delighted to see hawks and owls enjoying the perches. I would recommend putting cameras up underneath the poles so you can see what birds are using the perches.
We are also moving forward with a project in Old Agoura! Four residents will have owl boxes mounted on poles. We'll keep you posted on the progress!
Update: 6/1/2022: Boxes are not occupied yet. We'll keep you posted.
LESSON LEARNED: Before you purchase a box, ask a lot of questions. Find out if you need to make modifications to the box so it will fit on a pole. As for raptor perches? I LOVE THEM! I wasn't sure if any raptors were landing on them. I see there is a lot of action at night. Our great horned owl is out just about every night and uses our perch a lot. I notice other birds enjoy using the perches! I am a big fan of perches.
Please note that you need to clean your owl box every year. Inspect the box in October. If it is unoccupied, remove debris. The Hungry Owl Project recommendations are to always wear gloves, a Tyvek suit, and an N95 rated respirator to help minimize the possible health risks of dealing with non-sterilized owl pellets. Tree of Life offers a service for cleaning owl boxes: Tree Of Life Rodent Control
Below are links to more resources.
Check out this information on Pole vs.Tree Installation before buying your box:
Raptors Are The Solution (R.A.T.S.) Outreach materials: https://www.raptorsarethesolution.org/free-outreach-materials/#Got%20Pests%20Raptors%20On%20The%20Job
Ojai Raptor Center - Barn Owl Box Guide: https://www.ojairaptorcenter.org/barn-owl-box-page
Ojai Raptor Center - Raptor T-Perch: https://www.ojairaptorcenter.org/new-page-2
CLAW Barn Owl Nesting Box Program: http://www.clawonline.org/barn-owls-nesting-project
UC DAVIS: How to Build an Owl Box: https://www.ucdavis.edu/one-health/how-build-owl-box
The Hungry Owl Project - Barn Owl Boxes: https://www.hungryowls.org/
The Modern Farmer: https://modernfarmer.com/2014/05/build-barn-owl-nest/
Check out this great video from CITIZENS FOR LOS ANGELES WILDLIFE (CLAW)
If you want to put up an owl box, it is important to notify your neighbors. If your neighbors are using poisons, one poisoned rat could kill the owl family.
CLAW provides a Barn Owl Box Program flyer you can provide to your neighbors: