Nest-box use by Boreal Owls (Aegolius funereus) in the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain

Bernat C. Lopez, David Potrony, Anna López, Enric Badosa, Angel Bonada, Rosa Saló

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) is a nocturnal forest-dwelling species widely distributed throughout the world. One of the least studied and most southerly populations of this species lives in the Pyrenees Mountains. This population, 500600 pairs, probably suffered a slight decline during recent decades due to forestry management practices. The use of nest boxes may become necessary to protect this species in southern Europe. The objective of this study was to establish a standard protocol for nest-box installation, based on the analysis of occupation rates of nest boxes installed during the last 20 yr and the comparison of reproductive data for nest boxes and natural nest cavities. Our results indicated that nest boxes should be installed at high elevations (above 2000 m asl), below 4 m aboveground, and preferably facing south or southeast. We also found that most territories are located where maximum July temperatures are <17°C, which suggests that increasing temperatures due to climate change may have a negative effect on this population. © 2010 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-49
JournalJournal of Raptor Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


  • Aegolius funereus
  • Boreal Owl
  • Conservation
  • Nest-box selection
  • Tengmalm's Owl


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