Barn Owl roost box idea

My design ideas for a Barn Owl roost box are set out in the diagram below. Click on the image to see it full size, and take a look at my notes. All comments appreciated…

Please bear in mind that this is not suitable as a breeding site, but it’s intended to be a shelter. A single Barn Owl – perhaps a pair – would fit in the roost box, but it’s not sufficient for a brood of chicks, which reach full size before they fledge. Here I’ve thought out a pattern to make the most of a standard plywood board. There’s enough space on the plywood to cut material for an indoor barn box too. But will my Barn Owl roost box work?

Copyright 2010 Jason Ball.

The role of a roost box is valuable in Barn Owl conservation for 3 main reasons:

  1. Barn Owl males often require a roost apart from the breeding site because once the eggs hatch, he is not usually tolerated in the same space as the female with the young chicks. 
  2. Alternative roost sites are also important at certain other times, e.g. when owlets seek their own home, or during winter, or when competition for boxes is high, and owls cannot afford the energy to defend prime breeding sites.
  3. Because the cost of large boxes can be inhibitive to Barn Owl conservation groups. Extra boxes are useful as monitoring locations. At a roost box like this, a Barn Owl might make a ‘first appearance’ in a new area, and that indicates where to invest in nest boxes.

Key factors to consider for this outdoor owl roost box are weather, box competitors such as Jackdaw and Squirrel, and the ease of installation and monitoring. I’ve made key notes on the diagram, and other details would include methods for fastening the box to a tree, drainage holes in the floor, etc…


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