Tag Archives: Western burrowing owl

Climate change spells trouble for Berkeley birds

Burrowing owl.
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Some of Berkeley’s most common and beloved birds could face extinction within the next 70 years due to climate change, according to an authoritative new study by National Audubon Society.

The study – released on Tuesday after seven years of research – predicts the effects of climate change on 588 species of North American birds.

It concludes that nationally, 314 species are at risk – nearly half of the continent’s bird species. Of those, 126 species could see severe population declines by 2050, and another 188 species face the same fate by 2080 if climate change continues on its current path.

For Berkeley and the Bay Area, the list of birds in climate trouble includes some species like Snowy Plovers and Least Terns that are already on state or federal lists of endangered/threatened species. … Continue reading »

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Western Burrowing Owls are back on Berkeley Marina

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The burrowing owls that make their home at César Chávez Park on the Berkeley Marina every year are back.

Patrick Hickey, who works out in the pre-dawn hours most mornings at the park, says he has noticed a pair of the birds there for at least the past month.

“They sit right on the edge of the path perhaps three feet away. They always seem to flank the edge of the protected corner area,” he said. “They are quite small. They look at me but I say nothing and I keep moving. I think they realize I don’t want to mess with them. Or they are dangerously blasé!” … Continue reading »

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Can’t get enough of them: Berkeley’s burrowing owls

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We admit we are suckers for these adorable birds, so when regular Neil Mishalov sent us these two gorgeous pics, it didn’t take long to decide to share them with you, even though it was barely two weeks ago that we published another photo of this beautiful bird.

News of these special birds is spreading. New York Magazine recently included a visit to spot the burrowing owls as an “Insider’s Tip” in its Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan to Berkeley story. (They also recommended checking out Berkeleyside’s Nosh for East Bay food news, a point we couldn’t disagree with.) … Continue reading »

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Burrowing owls come out to preen at Berkeley Marina

Burrowing owl by Greg Merritt
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The Berkeley Marina’s much loved burrowing owls were out and about this weekend. Berkeleysider Greg Merritt caught this shot of one of them on Saturday afternoon. He said it was taken at the special fenced-off area near the Tom Bates/Gilman Sports Complex.

dozen volunteer docents from Golden Gate Audubon Society who help passersby spot and learn about the small population of Western burrowing owls who spend each winter at the marina.

As Illana DeBare reported for us this time last year, Western burrowing owls have been designated a “species of special concern” by the state of California, as their population has been declining. Local residents reported seeing as many as 15 owls at the Berkeley Marina a decade ago; last year just five were documented. … Continue reading »

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