Using barn owls for natural rodent control is gaining traction among farmers and those in other agricultural sectors. This has come about from increasingly critical environmental issues regarding chemical use in the field for rodent population control. To reduce poisons and other invasive methods of pest management, one of the most beneficial owls on the planet is being called upon as an expert rodent assailant.
Barn owls are noted for being fond of nesting but the lack of nest sites, including the loss of tree habitats, has become a major reason for the decline and non-productivity of this owl species.
When hole-nesters cannot find suitable places to breed, the population decreases notably.
Farmers have been putting barn owls on patrol for prey, including moles and gophers, as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) alternative.
Barn owls exhibit some of the best hearing among birds of prey. They have a white heart-shaped, monkey-faced appearance, and are distinguished by whitish or pale cinnamon underparts and rust-colored upper plumage. Velvety feathers allow them to approach their prey silently in darkness.