Barn Owls use nest boxes at HREC!
Barn Owls (Tyto alba) have used oak woodlands and valley floors of California for thousands of years. These birds naturally rely on large cavities, either in trees, snags, or cliff faces for daytime roosts and nesting sites. As California became "civilized" many of these natural cavities disappeared (for example: the loss of many large California Valley Oaks due the clearing of land for agriculture and urban development) so many owls turn to old barns and silos for roost sites (thus their name). However, these usually have very limited nest site availability, so, the placement of artificial nest boxes provides nest cavities for many of these birds. HREC has several of such nest boxes placed in strategic locations, and here you see a barn owl who's mate is currently sitting on eggs or has young in a nest box inside one of HREC's old barns.