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Owls and hummingbirds

November 8 2009 at 1:15 PM
Sandra  (Login sk290)
Hummingbird lover 2009

I'm thinking about putting one of those fake owls around the backyard to keep the birds away from the fruit trees and was wondering how this would impact the hummingbirds. Do you think that would drive them away too? Are owls natural predators for hummingbirds? Could they actually catch them (a real one I mean - lol)?

I've read that you can put owl boxes in your yard for them to nest in and take care of rodent issues. Anyone have any information on that? Thanks.


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(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Owls and hummingbirds

November 8 2009, 2:37 PM 

I haven't put up a nest box yet but it is in the back of my mind since I tend to get voles in my yard from the neighbor's field. Since owls are generally nocturnal hunters I would think that you wouldn't have a problem with them going after hummers but that is a guess on my part. We do have owls from time to time around my place and hawks too but I have never seen either go after a hummer.

Niagara Falls, NY
USDA zone 6a/6b
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
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Farmer Steve
(Login avorancher)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Owls and hummingbirds

November 8 2009, 4:05 PM 

We have owls and hawks on the property and neither bother the hummingbirds. I would guess that the hummingbirds would soon get used to the fake one as long as it isn't one of the motorized kind that turn their heads.

I've been thinking about putting up owl boxes to help control the gopher population. A number of neighbors have them and if you get a family of barn owls move in, it is a great method of control as long as you don't mind the pile of bones laying around under the boxes. The only hard part about putting up boxes is the height at which they work effectively. I think it is from 10 to 20 feet for me and with our famous santa anna winds in winter, it would have to be a substantial mounting pole. The height requirement may be different for your species and region.

Farmer Steve
Deluz, CA usda zone 10a

Ward Dasey
(Login WardDa)
Bird Lover

Re: Owls and hummingbirds

November 9 2009, 12:20 PM 

Barn Owls occur in most parts of the world and are used for rodent control in many agricultural areas. There is nothing much more fun than watching them hunt on full moon nights or listening to their spooky shriek.

Some owls will take roosting song birds at night - saw-whets and long-eared come to mind. We know this because we find their feathers in owl pellets. You are most likely to get screech-owls in your box. Some people get them only in winter and others get them in summer. The food selection, other than rodents, of screech-owls is less understood than some other owls, since they don't seem to have steady roosting sites where their pellets can be examined. Hummingbirds are a very unlikely prey item.


(Login Stephennj)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Owls and hummingbirds

November 9 2009, 8:48 PM 

I know that there are some Neotropical Owls that are known to take Hummingbirds at night (Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl for one)

Zone 6b New Jersey
[linked image]
visit my hummer photos athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/38829896@N00/

(Login sk290)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Owls and hummingbirds

November 10 2009, 12:54 PM 

I forgot that owls were nocturnal. I guess they would only hunt creatures that are roaming at night. Assuming that hummingbirds don't, they should be okay right?

We have 3 very tall palm trees in the back yard (30-40' up in the air) and was thinking about placing the box on one of them. There used to be an owl in the neighborhood a couple of years ago (my boyfriend thinks it was a barn owl) but it hasn't been seen since. I'm hoping that if we put the box up they'll come... worth the try.

Thanks everyone for your inputs!


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