Video - Barn Owls, Boxes and Biodiversity: Keeping Rodents in Check

View the newest video in our series about supporting beneficial birds on the farm.


Ivo Jeramaz of Grgich Hills Estate Winery and Dr. Matt Johnson from Humboldt State University.

Ivo Jeramaz of Grgich Hills Estate Winery understands the crucial role biodiversity plays in growing wine grapes. For him it is all about the balance. Rather than eradicate all pests, he seeks to keep them in check with the use of Barn Owl and songbird boxes. He also keeps the ground covered in between vine rows, mowing cover crops rather than tilling, leaving roots other than vines for pest voles to eat. These practices fill the farm with an orchestra of sounds from birds, bees and other wildlife. 

Watch this video about Barn Owls, Boxes and Biodiversity

Dr. Matt Johnson of Humboldt State University has been studying Barn Owls for years. His work is helping farmers understand what kind of boxes they prefer, how natural areas influence nest box occupancy, and how they eat large numbers of rodents.

He also promotes the idea of reciprocity between birds and farmers. When farmers put up nest boxes, they are doing something really great for the birds. In return, the birds do important pest control work for the farmers. Matt sees this exchange and appreciation as a way to address a fundamental question in ecology - what is our relationship with nature and how do we create more of these win-win moments. 

Learn more about Ivo Jeramaz and Grgich Hills Estate.

You can watch our other videos and learn more on WFA's Beneficial Birds Multimedia Story Platform.

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If you are interested in installing bird boxes and would like assistance, please contact us!

Visit WFA's One Million Nest Boxes and Perches Program