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Melissa Mayntz

Fast Protection for Urban Owls

By January 13, 2013

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Urban birds face a lot of threats - feral cats, unleashed pets, vehicle traffic, greater competition for food - but thanks to a quick response by city and park officials, as well as a local Audubon chapter, the burrowing owls in Berkeley are a bit better protected. According to Golden Gate Audubon, a burrowing owl was spotted in a congested area of parking lots, soccer fields and pathways, and within two days an orange fence was erected around the bird's roosting area to keep pets out and alert people so they do not disturb the bird.

The same area was home to burrowing owls prior to the 2008 construction of the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex. That project displaced the owls, but now the one that has returned is settling in to its new enclosure.

What urban birds have you seen defying the risks of city life? Share your experiences in the comments!

Burrowing Owl in Berkeley
Photo Golden Gate Audubon Society


January 13, 2013 at 10:51 am
(1) Rattlesnake Creek Garden Club says:

Peregrine Falcons have nested on the ledges at the top of city hall in Richmond , Virginia for several years.

January 13, 2013 at 10:55 am
(2) Rattlesnake Creek Garden Club says:

Peregrine Falcons have nested on the ledges at the top of the city hall in Richmond, Virginia for several years.Ospreys nest on power line towers along the James River and can be observed with binoculars from the parking lot of a nearby Shopping Center.

January 13, 2013 at 11:33 am
(3) cathartes says:

Like the other posters, we also have Peregrine Falcons nesting on our bridges here in Portland, OR. As well as eagles and osprey nesting and hanging around. We have plenty of owls but the little Screech owls are at greater risk because they will nest in backyard trees. Then if a brancher falls to the ground, cats will snatch them up. When you think of it, all city birds are at some risk due to cats being let outside. I can’t recall at the moment but a high percentage of the birds that come into the center are cat caught.

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