In the past, barn owls were breeding in clock towers or in natural cavities inside trees. Unfortunately, old trees with big cavities are cut systematically, and old buildings are renovated in a way that barn owls cannot enter them anymore, which means that nowadays fewer nest sites are available to barn owls. To circumvent this lack of nest sites, ornithologists offer artificial sites. In our study area in western Switzerland, we fixed 350 nest boxes inside barns and farms. These sites are similar to luxurious hotels for barn owls! Almost all breeding barn owls lay their eggs in our nest boxes, with few pairs breeding outside of them, such as in the straw, which are very unsafe places.
In western Switzerland, there are many places where barn owls can find a nest box fixed by members of the University of Lausanne.
Fixing nest boxes is very important to protect barn owls. Without the help and agreement of farmers to install these boxes, our work would be impossible.