Farms often provide boxes as homes to attract owls which in turn keep the rodent population in check. The owls are doing the same now at the Port of Stockton and providing a vision of owl family life via a web-cam.
Fifteen boxes atop tall poles around the Port of Stockton host nesting barn owls and their chicks.
The birds have great appetites and each owl family consumes 3,000 rats and mice each season.
Left unchecked, the rodents burrow into the levees causing structural damage.
Port Director Richard Aschieris says the owls provide a non-poisonous way to deal with the problem.
Aschieris says three of the boxes contain cameras that have made the owl's home life popular on the web.
"Teachers really do enjoy it, particularly those that may be teaching biology. Kids, it's very popular with, when you go to the port's Facebook page, there is a long list of people that have made that one of their favorite."
The cameras have infrared vision so the owls can be seen when they are most active at night....just in time for dinner.
The free event brings music, the arts, and of course, books, to children along with games, food, and other activities.
Stockton has started the ball rolling to bring a California State University campus to the city.
Stockton has released about a half dozen videos so far, all featuring locals telling their own stories of why "Stockton is Home."