At Marimar Estate in the Sonoma County town of Sebastopol, new owl boxes have been installed in the vineyards to attract barn owls – the helpful predators of obnoxious gophers and moles.
It’s part of the winery’s ongoing move toward “green” practices in its operations. By using Mother Nature’s natural predators, it’s not necessary to utilize Earth-unfriendly practices to control the vineyard-harming pests.
“This year, we’ve had an expert design them – and they seem to work much better than our home-made ones,” says winery matriarch Marimar Torres.
“It’s fascinating what a difference some details make to attract
them: a higher post, smaller round hole to prevent predators from taking babies out, no outside perch.”
Adds Torres: “The hooting and feathers are the best proof of success.”