Attracting Owls to your yard can be very beneficial for gardeners. There are many different types of Owls depending on where you live. Here in Lenox, Massachusetts,a few come to mind. The Barredowl, the Eastern Screech Owl and the Northern Saw-whet Owl. The Owl’s favorite foods are insects and rodents(including moles!), but depending on the type of Owl,could also include squirrels,rabbits,small birds, lizards,frogs,worms and spiders. The Great Horned Owl is one of the few predators of skunks, but they don’t nest in nestboxes and therefore would be harder to attract. The two smaller Owls, the Eastern Screech and the Northern Saw-whet, are both just about the size of a soda can. The nestboxes built for them are about twice the size of a Bluebird house and just need to be mounted about ten feet off the ground. They prefer to be at the edge of the woods, but Screech Owls will also tolerate humans and some may nest within 10 to 20 ft. of a building. In 2007, I had a Saw-whet Owl in a nestbox in my backyard.I had installed a camera inside the box to watch the activity. It was shocking to see the mice piled up inside the box! She hardly had room for herself! I am currently installing several Screech Owl/Saw-whet Owl boxes in the woods next to my yard,hoping to attract a Screech Owl next.
Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.