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Reigning Raptors: Birds of Prey Patrol our Vines

Sustainable farming is a top priority for our family here at Bogle Vineyards. From the winery to the vineyard, we do our best to follow practices that ensure our farming and operation will be strong for generations to come.

All our estate vineyards follow the Lodi Rules for Sustainability, a third party program certified by Protected Harvest. Part of this program is enlisting mother nature to help in pest management in the vineyards. A drive to Clarksburg through our estate vines will show multiple raptor habitat boxes erected by Bogle vineyard crews.

“Falcons and hawks have been brought to the winery for natural pest abatement,” says Warren Bogle, president and vineyard manager. “We have built various owl boxes throughout each vineyard to ensure these birds mitigate rodent populations. Integrated pest management is utilized for all vineyards in accordance with the Lodi Rules for Sustainability.”

This time of year, most guests get lucky and see our aviary friends on their visits. Red-tailed hawks are the most common, and do a great job eradicating pests from the vineyards. With a steady diet of mice, voles, rats, squirrels and rabbits, these hawks are happy to make our vineyards home. And with our mild weather patterns, instead of migrating south, they spend the year hunting. They do give way, at least at night, to their nocturnal counterparts, great horned and barn owls. Sharing habitat and hunting territory, the owls and the hawks live side by side, easily managing the pests who make their homes in the vines.

New owl boxes have been erected for the spring, but vineyard crews left the old ones. With egg-filled nests, the old boxes won’t be removed until the young owls take wing and move to the new boxes. Until then, there are double the perches from which to get that bird’s eye view of the vineyards.

The photo above shows a gorgeous red-tailed hawk perched atop an old owl box overlooking Bogle vines.