Owl Nest Box – Will The Owls Scare Away The Bluebirds?

Q: I recently read an article about putting owl nest boxes in the back yard. Will having owls in my yard scare away the bluebirds that regularly nest there?

A: I’m guessing the article described building and installing nest boxes for our native screech owls. It’s an unavoidable fact that owls do eat small birds, usually at dawn when the birds are first moving around and the owl feels comfortable flying about. That said, screech owls also eat mice, voles, toads, and insects. Despite the uncomfortable facts, I have an owl nest box in my landscape as well as a bird feeder. Somehow owls and songbirds have coexisted through the ages so I hope I’m not favoring one over the other in my decisions.