The Norman Transcript


May 3, 2013

Silent but deadly — barn owls beneficial



The boxes are generally about 2 feet high, 2 feet wide and about 18 inches deep and should face east, if possible. There are many designs and materials to choose from when constructing a nest box.

I work with countless landowners with questions about gopher control on their property.

Like most rodents, gophers teeth never stop growing, thus they gnaw continuously to maintain them. They chew utility and irrigation lines, plant roots, plumbing pipe and virtually anything else they come across. They also leave lawns, pastures, range and cropland bumpy due to the mounds they create.

While there are gopher poisons and traps available, Barn owls are a more elegant (and free) solution. Owls sweep silently through pastures and fields at night, locating rodents by sound when they are not visible. And they have a big appetite. One biologist documented 289 gopher skulls in a single barn owl nesting box.

Barn owls are cavity-nesting birds, meaning they prefer to nest in boxes, tree holes, barn lofts or attics. When struggling with Mother Nature’s pests, why not work with her rather than against her? Erecting a barn owl box may help alleviate your rodent problem in an inexpensive and effective manner.

In addition, barn owls have greater lethality on rodents than cats and inflict far less damage to non-target wildlife species. More information about purchasing or constructing barn owl boxes can be found online. Visit our website for more land and wildlife management ideas at

Heath Herje is an agriculture educator with Cleveland County Cooperative Extension service.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Crafter’s emporium planned Saturday

    Members of the Opal District Crafter’s Emporium, plus other local artists, will have an art show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E. Robinson St. in Norman. It will be hosted concurrently with the ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Williams book signing event set

    Jared Williams, a resident of Moore, will sign copies of his book “Cerebral” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings, 2300 W. Main St. Norman....

    July 31, 2014

  • Home dedication set Sunday

    Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity will host a dedication of the Ruvalcaba family home from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at 618 E. Apache St. Those attending are asked to bring a pantry item to help the family begin life in their new home. ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Two territorial littermate cats are asserting social dominance

    Dear Dr. Fox: When we decided to get a cat 10 years ago, I thought getting a couple of littermates would work well. They got along during the first couple of years, often sleeping together and grooming each other. As they matured, though, ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Pancake breakfast set

    The Police Explorer youth organization will host an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Norman Masonic Lodge, 1700 N. Porter Ave. All-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, milk, orange juice and coffee costs $5. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Center will be more than a building

    Many volunteers who assist veterans and surviving spouses have driven more than an hour to be at the Goldsby Community Center by 7 a.m. each Thursday. The volunteer of the week is from Harrah and has made that drive for the last three ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senior organizations that appeal to conservatives

    Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any advocacy organizations for seniors other than AARP? I cut up my AARP card a few years back when they supported Obamacare and am now looking for another organization that better represents me....

    July 29, 2014

  • Seniors adjust to different sleep patterns

    According to the National Institutes of Health, older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, sleep patterns change with age; this is often evident in the nursing home population. Frequent causes of interrupted sleep ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Ceremony marks opening of community center

    A July 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the addition of another feature to the Chickasaw Nation Carter service campus in Ardmore....

    July 27, 2014