Here at Laetitia, we are proud to be certified SIP, sustainable in practice. One of the important factors in becoming certified is conserving and enhancing biological diversity. Something we do to ensure that we adhere to this standard is build and stake owl boxes throughout our vineyard.
The barn owls we most commonly see here are great for ridding our vineyard of pests like; gophers, ground squirrels and meadow mice that eat at our vines. Barn owls do not build nests, they instead lay eggs in rocky cliffs, trees, bluffs, barns or any structures with appropriate cavities. By providing free rent for these beautiful creatures, we are not only saving our crop, but also ensuring that we maintain and promote wildlife to naturally exist on our vineyards. The owl pellets also act as a great fertilizer!
If you have property at home and want to build an owl box for yourself some things to keep in mind are:
-Optimal placements for owl boxes are open fields or meadows.
-The entrance to the box should be unobstructed.
– 6 boxes should be placed per square mile.
-Boxes can be on a post or hung from an oak or sycamore tree.
-Summer is the best time to put up owl boxes.
-Boxes should not be disturbed during nesting season.
VP of Vineyard Operations, Lino Bozzano, peering out over our vineyard at one of our dozen owl boxes on the property.