Last Updated on March 23, 2022 by Cristina
Wondering how to attract owls naturally to your garden? We have a few tips that are guaranteed to work. But first of all, you need to understand the natural habitat or owls. Owls are nocturnal birds and skilled hunters. They live in dense forests, mountains, deserts, and even plains with enough woodland.
So how to attract owls to your urban garden? Well, some owls are not as remote and reside in the city! You can spot them in large parks and the suburbs. If you provide a few favorable conditions, they can become a frequent visitor.
Owls In A Nutshell
The mysterious birds come in over 200 species, divided into two categories. Their behavior is admirable; they’re sharp, quiet, and proficient hunters. Their precise night vision, sounds, and unique looks make you want to have one in your garden.
Urban owls are slightly more social than their remote friends. However, they face more harm in the urban areas, so only a handful of species choose to reside in this area. The first step in learning how to attract owls is to provide a safe environment similar to their natural habitat.
Winter is the most common time when you can spot some owls in the city. They migrate due to the lack of food, so they’re likely to visit if you have some. Owls live alone, in pairs or groups.
Owls In Daytime
How to attract owls when they’re only active at night? Even though most owls are nocturnal animals, you’d be surprised to find that some are active during the day.
Among the owls you can spot in broad daylight are the snowy owl, the burrowing owl, the northern hawk owl, and the northern pygmy owl.
Other species are most active from dawn until dusk.
Types Of Owls
Nineteen owl species live in the US, but only 5 reside in urban areas. These are the western and eastern screech owls, the barred owl, the barn owl, and the great horned owl.
Are owls good to have around your house? Backyard owls are excellent for pest control as they eat mice, rodents, squirrels, snakes, and other smaller birds. But they’re also territorial, especially during the mating period. They can coexist with other birds but will try to fight other owls.
What Do Owls Eat
If you have a few feeders you might wonder why owls never visit them. How do I attract owls to my feeder? Owls are not attracted to your birdfeeder. They’re carnivorous, so bird seeds won’t draw them to your backyard.
This is the main reason why they won’t visit just any garden. A sign of owls means there’s plenty of food around you. Knowing there are rodents and snakes around your house, it’s not among the best feelings!
So, what foods attract owls? Owls are birds of prey, so they hunt their meals. Their diet involves small insects, reptiles, fish, smaller birds, poultry, and amphibians. When thinking about how to attract owls, make sure you don’t have any of these as pets in your garden.
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How to Welcome Owls in Your Garden
1. Dim the Lights
A well-lit garden won’t attract owls. While you shouldn’t remove all lights, you can turn most of them off when you go to sleep. Owls avoid hunting in broad light, so they’re less likely to visit even if there’s food.
If you have motion-activated sensors, consider cutting their perimeter so they won’t light up the whole garden.
2. Provide Shelter
If you want to learn how to attract owls for more than a few visits, you need to provide them with a home. Owls live in tree hollowings and tall trees with dense branches. If you don’t have any mature trees in your yard, you can provide manufactured nesting boxes.
But where is the best place to put an owl box? Pick the tallest trees in your garden and climb up. Some owls even prefer these boxes over tree hollowings!
Make sure to position the boxes in a sheltered, secluded area away from direct light.
3. Install Bird Baths
During summer, owls love water just like any other bird. They look for deeper bird baths to soak up and drink. Provide one in a more secluded area of your garden.
During cooler months, baths won’t attract the owls. Instead, they get all the hydration from the prey.
4. Offer Food
Food for owls is not cheap. How to attract owls if you don’t have a rodent farm around? Living next to farm fields helps, but providing mice is the best option when you’re in a densely populated city.
Having taller vegetation in your garden draws in more insects and reptiles, making it a buffet for the owls.
Beware that if you have many rodents around and use poison to kill them, you might poison the owls too!
5. Keep an Unruly Garden
There’s no way how to attract owls if you want to keep a tidy garden. Tall uncut grass and mature trees full of dense branches are the number one thing they look for in a habitat.
You can also compromise and leave a section of your garden a little more wild and tidy up the rest. Make sure you place the food and nesting boxes in the wild part.
Chasing Off Owls
Not everyone wants to know how to attract owls. They are birds of prey and can hunt your pets, sparrows, and even hummingbirds. However, some places naturally attract more owls due to the abundance of food around.
Here’s what you can do to avoid attracting owls:
- Use bright night lights and noises like alarms and whistles;
- Keep your pets inside and poultry under lock at night;
- Remove birdfeeders; if there are no small birds for the owls to prey on, they won’t come;
- Keep rodents under control;
- Cut old branches and mow the grass often. Check for openings on your roof or walls where an owl might nest.
Bottom Line: Easy Tips on How to Attract Owls
There’s something mysterious and enticing in owls that you want to keep them closer to you. Learning how to attract owls is not complicated; all you need to provide is food, shelter, some darkness, and water in the summer.
However, you need to remember that owls are wild animals that hunt for food and might attack your pets.
What foods attract owls?
Owls are carnivores; they eat rodents, reptiles, small mammals, other birds, and insects.
Are owls good to have around your house?
Owls can act as pest control and keep mice, rodents, and snakes away from your house. However, they can also attack your small pets.
How do I attract owls to my feeder?
Owls are not attracted to conventional bird feeders filled with seeds. You need to provide a feeder for them filled with mice, snakes, and small birds.
Where is the best place to put an owl box?
Place the nesting owl box on a tree branch, at least 10 feet from the ground, in a shaded and sheltered area.