Finally, Good News for the Glen Canyon Owls

The last two years weren’t good to the famous Glen Canyon Great Horned Owls. All the  work that was going on, the removal of trees near the nesting tree, the changes to the canyon – they disturbed the owls enough that there were no babies. Even though there’d been other successful nests in San Francisco.

That’s changed this year. The owls are back with a trio of baby owls. Here are some shots taken by wildlife photographer Janet Kessler. [This post was edited, as promised, to add in more owl pictures.]

[Edited to add: We normally would wait on publishing this until the owlets were fledged and flown, to avoid disclosing where the youngsters are. In this case, the story had already been published in the local online newsletter, so we decided to share the news with our readers.]

glen canyon owlet 2015 copyright janet kessler

Three baby owls!

Three baby owls!

Mama owl standing guard

Mama owl standing guard

Two baby owls together

Two baby owls together

Mama sitting proudly in back of two of her chicks

Mama sitting proudly in back of two of her chicks

Mama grooms her youngsters after feeding them

Mama grooms her youngsters after feeding them

Meanwhile, here’s another Glen Canyon bird – a Steller’s jay. This picture is also courtesy Janet Kessler.

steller jay glen canyon - copyright Janet Kessler

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4 Responses to Finally, Good News for the Glen Canyon Owls

  1. Toni Estrella says:

      Thanks.  So nice to hear something good (for a change).  

  2. Dave says:

    Great news indeed. Sure wish the work on the north end of the canyon would finish and the construction crews could remove their equipment. I’m sad to say the price paid — literally and figuratively — for the past two years of work will not have been worth the disruption. It seems that embedding stairs on hillside trails defeats the goal of experiencing a wild canyon. Most people preferred dirt trails and felt they were safer too. Ask anyone you meet in the canyon.

    • Allie Light says:

      Not everyone feels the way you do, Dave. As a really old person, some trail repair has come just in time for me. I’ve walked my dogs every day in the park for about 40 years and used to be able to climb all the ridges and steep trails. I can’t do that anymore, but with the embedded stairs I’ve been given new life, for which I’m very grateful. Now if only they would give us a new set of stairs at the Elk and Sussex entrance. I’ve fallen on those stairs twice and my friend fell and broke her arm there.

  3. Randie says:

    I saw two adult owls in Forest Hill today that we have never seen before. This was in a wooded area on the northeast side of Forest Hill (off Linares, high above 7th avenue). Is this well known? Where else in SF are there owls?

    [Webmaster: Great Horned Owls are known to breed in Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, and are heard and seen in Sutro Forest on Mount Sutro, and in the forest on Mt Davidson. They like wooded areas with stands of tall trees like eucalyptus.]