It Is Time to Schedule Your Spring 2022 Monitoring Visit!
Our 2022 Monitoring Season has begun! Reach out to Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue to schedule your Spring Monitoring Visit today.
Commonly asked questions about Barn Owl Box Monitoring:
What is monitoring?
Monitoring is in the conducted in the spring. During this time, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue visits barn owl boxes throughout Sonoma County to determine the individual box occupancy of our various clients. With this information, property owners and vineyard managers can make important decisions regarding their barn owl boxes. 
What information do I find out with monitoring?
After monitoring your barn owl box, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue will send you a copy of your BOOM report, usually within two weeks of our visit. This report will tell you the overall box occupancy percentage for your property and give you occupancy information on individual boxes, including the approximate age and number of any owls inside. We also document other findings inside of your box, like a mother owl on eggs or if we find excess dead rodents in the box that the owls have not gotten around to eating yet. At that time, we can also assess the box for any maintenance issues that need to be addressed in the fall and make a note to bring the necessary supplies to make repairs during maintenance. 
Does Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue do anything with the findings?
Yes! We use the occupancy data to find appropriate foster locations for orphaned barn owls that come into the center. Barn owls become very stressed in captivity and thrive far better in the wild with wild owl mothers. Luckily, through our monitoring, we know where the wild owl mothers are! Since barn owls do not count their young, they will accept another owl into their nest without second thought. If we preform monitoring on your property and find owlets, we may just reach out to see if we can foster owls in your box! More owls mean more hunting, and more pest control for your property.

We also share data collected during monitoring with Cal Poly Humboldt. They use this data in their ongoing study to learn about barn owls and their preferences regarding nesting box features, including specific habitat indicators and barn owl box features.
How much does monitoring cost?
The cost to monitor your barn owl boxes varies based on the number of boxes you have on your property. For every visit, there is $110 service call charge, and each box is $125 to monitor. If you have 7 or more boxes, the price drops down to $100 per box. 

As a nonprofit, all proceeds from our monitoring services go directly towards our mission statement to rescue, rehabilitate, and release wildlife in Sonoma County (read our full mission statement here). 
How do I schedule monitoring?
Contact Kelsey James at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue using the link below or call the office at 707-992-0274. Our team conducts monitoring on Thursdays and Fridays. 
I just installed my barn owl box in the last year, is it too early to schedule monitoring?
If you have had your box installed in the last year, we recommend waiting until next year to schedule monitoring. If you have reason to believe your box is already occupied, great! We are still happy to come out and check. 

Common reasons for thinking a box may be occupied include:
  • Hearing a lot of barn owl activity in the night. - Barn owls have unique, screech-like calls. Click here to listen to a barn owl call.
  • Seeing barn owl activity around your property. - This can include seeing an actual barn owl, finding pellets or seeing scratches on the perches on the front of your barn owl box.
Do I need to be present during monitoring?
No, you do not. Every team member is trained on driving in vineyards and various terrain to safely conduct their visits. We listen carefully to any special instructions and requests and make sure to follow them to ensure your comfort and confidence in us while we are on your property. You will receive a full report of our findings, usually within 2 weeks of our visit. Those who are there during the visit will be asked to keep a distance away from the box while we conduct the monitoring to disturb the nest as little as possible.
Can I look inside the box on my own?
You should never attempt to approach your barn owl box when there could be owls inside. Barn owls are protected through the Federal Migratory Bird Act. Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue has a special permit through the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct spring monitoring. Our team is thoroughly trained on the delicate task of approaching a box when owls are inside and how to conduct the monitoring with minimal risk to the nest.
Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue | bompco.org