Build It & They Will Come

As members of Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance we recently were provided the opportunity to visit Wild Wing Company, a manufacturer of quality custom nesting boxes and raptor perches for barn owls, raptors, blue birds and more.

In our area they of Sonoma County the boxes and perches provide gamers, gardeners and vineyard owners with a low-cost toxic free solution to pest predation.  Their habitat nest boxes benefit species such as barn owls which control most flying, crawling, burrowing and other nasty pests.

We arrived about 7pm one Monday evening at the home of John Schuster who welcome us with some of his own wines and provided us with a lecture on the species he creates boxes for, why, and who might consider using his boxes.  By 8pm we began walking his vineyards and occasionally stopping at a box to receive information on what birds might be found in it and the purpose of the box (while some are for nesting, some are to capture pesky birds, too).

The highlight of the evening was when there was still just enough light to catch the beneficial barn owls taking off from their homes, landing on perches or in trees and listening to their distinctive screech.  Unfortunately, there was not sufficient light to photograph this moment.

Did you know that when baby owls become teenagers they are kicked out of the box by mom, never to return again?  Or that barn owls mate for life and return to the same nesting box to produce off-spring?  And when a box is situated in the right location (clear flight path), at the right angle (facing East), you can “build it and they will come”?!

Here are some photos from our visit …



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