Owl Families Make Home in Park, Palace of Fine Arts

By Matt Baume
|  Friday, Apr 22, 2011  |  Updated 10:58 PM PDT
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Owl Families Make Home in Park, Palace of Fine Arts

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Don't look now, but San Francisco is developing a bit of an owl infestation. Oh really!

After sightings at Alcatraz and Golden Gate Park, the latest nesting family has been spotted at the Palace of Fine Arts. They couldn't have picked fancier digs: the entire area was just refurbished and restored, cleaned of debris and given a landscaping makeover.

A local birdwatcher gets the credit for the sighting. He heard the young owls calling from a nest around sunset.

After dwindling in number for many years, endangered barn owls may finally be making a comeback. That's thanks in large part to habitat restoration around the Presidio. Formerly a polluted army base, the national park has been furiously re-creating the large habitats necessary to support indigenous wildlife.

In addition to the Palace birds, there's a family currently nesting around Huntington Falls in Golden Gate Park -- just look for the twisty tree with the dead branch.

And there's signs of an owl on Alcatraz as well, with pellets containing rodent bones recently discovered at the bottom of a shaft.

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