Track 2. Nest Boxes & Other Structures and the Birds that Use Them
Lesson 4 - Rodent-Eating Birds Supported by Nest Boxes and Perches
Presenters: Dr. Matthew Johnson - Cal Poly Humboldt & Breanna Martinico - UC Davis
Matthew is a professor of Wildlife Habitat Ecology at Cal Poly Humboldt. Much of his research focuses on understanding habitat selection and habitat quality for animals in agricultural landscapes. He is particularly interested in finding win-win scenarios in which farmers and wildlife can mutually benefit each other.
Breanna is a graduate student at UC Davis in the Ecology program. They are a raptor biologist, and part of their research focuses on the interactions between raptors and anticoagulant rodenticides used in integrated pest management programs for rodent pests on farms. They are interested in learning how we can increase raptor presence in agroecosystems without the negative effects of secondary exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides.
Continued Education Credits/Units Approved:
- Describe rodent pest control by raptors with boxes and perches
- Recommend the best features for a Barn Owl box
- Impress farmers or neighbors with numbers of rodents Barn Owls eat
- Recommend the best features for a raptor perch
- Caution about use of rodenticides
Live Audience Questions and Answers
Brochures, Posters, and Quick Guides
- 2022 Cal Poly Humboldt Research Summary Brochure. Nest Boxes and Barn Owls: Providing Rodent Pest Removal in Vineyards.
- Poster from B. L. Martinico of 2016 Kross et al. article: Agricultural land use, barn owl diet, and vertebrate pest control implications.
- 2021 Western SARE How-To Quick Guide: Welcome in Barn Owls to Provide Rodent Control.
- Barn Owl Nest Box Plans
Articles and publications
- 2021 Huysman, A.E. and M.D. Johnson. Multi-year nest box occupancy and short-term resilience to wildfire disturbance by barn owls in a vineyard agroecosystem. Ecosphere 12(3): e03438.
- 2021 St. George D.A. and M.D. Johnson. Effects of habitat on prey delivery rate and prey species composition of breeding barn owls in winegrape vineyards. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 312:107322.
- 2021 Castañeda, X.A., A.E. Huysman, and M.D. Johnson. Barn Owls select uncultivated habitats for hunting in a winegrape growing region of California. Ornithological Applications 123:1-15.
- 2020 Johnson, M.D. and D.A. St. George. Estimating the number of rodents removed by barn owls nesting in boxes on winegrape vineyards. Proceedings, 29th Vertebrate Pest Conference (D. M. Woods, Ed.), Published by Univ California, No. 17.
- 2018 Johnson, M.D., C.A. Wendt, D. St. George, A. Huysman, B. Estes, X. Castañeda. Can barn owls help control rodents in winegrape vineyard landscapes? A review of key questions and suggested next steps. Proc. 28th Vertebr. Pest Conf. (D.M. Woods, Ed.), Published at Univ. of Calif., Davis. Pages 180-187.
- 2017 Wendt, C. A., & Johnson, M. D. Multi-scale analysis of barn owl nest box selection on Napa Valley vineyards. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 247:75-83.
2016 Kross, S. M., R. P. Bourbour, and B. L. Martinico. Agricultural land use, barn owl diet, and vertebrate pest control implications. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 223:167-174
- If you are unable to access the full article, please contact Breanna Martinico for a copy.
- Summarized findings of above article in a poster from B. L. Martinico.
- 2018 Kross, S. M., R. Chapman, A. Craig, and T. R. Kelsey. Raptor use of artificial perches in California rangelands in fall. Proceedings of the 28th Vertebrate Pest Conference.