New Neighbors to our Zinfandel Vines

Biale is getting a new Barn Owl luxury apartment with million dollar views! The Napa Wildlife Rescue has created a program to encourage Napa wineries and properties to install Barn Owl boxes on their properties. This is an “organic” way of keeping the rodent population in check for the Zinfandel vineyard. As John Comisky, president of the rescue says “Barn owls eat between 1,000 and 3,000 rodents in a season. When you install a barn owl box, that barn owl finds a mate. Together they raise six to seven fledglings who grow up to eat more rodents.”

Fun facts-The entry hole is designed to be just large enough and shaped like the Barn Owl face so their predator, the Great Horned Owl, does not get in! They also do not put a landing peg on it, as it allows for any predators to land on it and bother the babies! 

Adding the bedding for the new potential residents.

Biale has had an “owl box” for years on the property, but turns out that it is more of a small studio apartment and not suited for a whole family of barn owls. It has now turned into a home for the local Dove population.

Both the original Biale property and the winery property in the Oak Knoll District have a healthy population of Blue Birds as they are a natural way to remove insects. Such harmful bugs would be the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter. It is a large leafhopper insect that can vector the deadly Pierce’s disease in grapevines.

There is something special about sitting out on the “back porch” of the winery with a glass of Zinfandel and listening to the singing of the Blue Birds. Does not get much better than that and we hope to see you here one day soon!

Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa County