Barn Owl Recovery

Barn Owl Recovery

Barn Owl Recovery. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

I’ve just returned from attending the 2011 Washington Horticultural Associations annual meeting and expo where I ran into a lot of old friends and one very special new friend.

BURNETT: This is Gus. He’s a barn owl. He’s probably about 10 months old. This is the farmer’s friend. These are called barn owls because they typically lived in barns. Those old barns have fallen down so they make their nest in haystacks.

And that is Debra Burnett with Northwest Spirit Wildlife who brought Gus out to tell people of the problem with these owls nesting in haystacks.

BURNETT: In February those haystacks start to get transported away, the babies are stuck inside and without help they’ll die. These guys are valuable enough to where we are putting up nest boxes and finding homes for them and then they can go out and start doing some rodent control.

Owls like Gus just seem to love what most farmer’s don’t.

BURNETT: The wonderful thing about these guys is whatever their favorite food is just happens to coincide with whatever the farmer is fighting at any given decade. Right now, it’s the gopher. These guys are really valuable, they’ve always been around man and so they stick around. They mate for life. They return to the same net box year after year and so they are just a great way to do natural rodent control.

Burnett says barn owls have from 20 to 30 babies in a season whereas great horned owls will only have 2. For more information visit

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

Previous ReportAdding Pears to MyPlate
Next Report2011 Hort Meeting