It Is Time to Schedule Your 2022 Fall Maintenance Visit!
Our 2022 Maintenance Season has begun! Reach out to Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue to schedule your Fall Maintenance Visit today.

*Please note that due to the increase in transportation costs, we have had to increase our service call charge to $140. Maintenance fees remain at $125 per box.
Commonly Asked Questions About Barn Owl Box Maintenance:
What is maintenance and why is it important?
Annual barn owl box maintenance is by far the most important part of box ownership. Owlets that are raised in a nesting box do not leave the box until they are ready to fly, approximately 60 days after they hatch. During that time, they poop and throw up pellets inside their box, stomping it down over time until you are left with inches of solid waste built up. This makes the inside of the nesting box not only very dirty, but also much smaller. Since no housekeeping is performed by the owls, it is the box owner's responsibility to make sure next years owlets have a clean and spacious box to grow up in. That's where annual fall maintenance comes into play.
Pellets and feces inside of a barn owl box after one nesting season.
Maintenance is the practice of cleaning a barn owl box to prepare it for the next nesting season. It is also the perfect time of year to perform any repairs to the box itself. Owlets raised in nesting boxes that are not properly cleaned every year have an increased likelihood of injury, death by predation, or being kicked out of the box by a competitive sibling before they are ready. Annual maintenance also prolongs the life of your box. Maintenance should always occur after the nesting season has ended.
How much do maintenance services cost?
The cost to maintain your barn owl boxes varies based on the number of boxes you have on your property. For every visit, there is $140 service call charge, and each box is $125 to maintain. If you have 7 or more boxes, the price drops down to $100 per box. 

As a nonprofit, all proceeds from our maintenance services go directly towards our mission statement to rescue, rehabilitate, and release wildlife in Sonoma County (read our full mission statement here). 

Please note that we have increased our service call charge to help offset the increased cost of gas.
How do I schedule maintenance?
Contact Kelsey James at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue using the link below or call the office at 707-992-0274. Our team conducts maintenance on Thursdays and Fridays. 
Scratches around barn owl box cavity indicate nesting occupancy. The scratches are made from the parent owl's routine visits bringing food to the nest.
I just installed my barn owl box in the last year, is it too early to schedule maintenance?
If you have had your box installed in the last year, we recommend waiting until next year to schedule maintenance. If you have reason to believe your box is already occupied, great! We are still happy to come out.

Common reasons for thinking a box may be occupied include:
  • Hearing a lot of barn owl activity in the night during the summer. - Barn owls have unique, screech-like calls. Click here to listen to a barn owl call.
  • Seeing barn owl activity on your box or around your property. - This can include seeing an actual barn owl, finding pellets or seeing scratches on the front of your barn owl box.
Do I need to be present during maintenance?
No, you do not. We are fully insured to do our work and 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 maintenance to protect themselves from the hazardous debris inside of the box.
Can I perform maintenance on my own?
Yes! Since maintenance occurs after nesting season (January-August), you are able to conduct maintenance yourself. Please note, the debris inside of your barn owl box is hazardous. To protect yourself and others, please email us for instructions on how to maintain your boxes.

PLEASE NOTE: You should never attempt to approach your barn owl box when there could be an active nest inside 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 monitoring in the spring with minimal risk to the nest. If you would like your occupancy checked in the spring, please contact us to schedule monitoring in March 2023.
Ready To Schedule?
Call or Email Us Now!

Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue |