I checked the owl family yesterday after a week or so of not being able to (bad weather, and I had other things to do). The babies have grown so much that the guarding parent has to sit outside the nest. I've seen hawks do the same. Here's a picture from Saturday morning around 9am or so:

If you go looking for them, they are in a tree that is very straight vertical that branches into three parts about 3-4 stories up. It is among other trees south of where Franz Hunning meets the park, and the best view of the nest is to stand southwest of it and look to the northeast; feel free to circle around, but the adult bird will be very aware of you... and the babies will try to look terribly fierce!

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Debby, thanks for sharing those great photos.

Remember, everyone, to respect bird nests and nestlings. Please don't come too close to the tree - view from a distance, quietly.

There was an owl nest a few years ago near Alameda that suffered from too much public exposure. Numbers of people would stomp around the tree, craning their necks to see, and calling to their friends. The nest was abandoned and the owls never returned.

I agree entirely. While these birds are 4-5 stories up, they can see everything. So I often try to hide in the shade of a tree (which also makes it a bit easier to take pictures where the sun is behind the birds). Also, I've only stayed about 10 minutes at any time (maybe 3x a week, depending on weather). I did go by this morning around 9:30 and did stay a wee bit longer as the larger baby decided to venture out onto the limb the parent bird was sitting on. Then the smaller baby tried it to. First steps toward independence! (or maybe not the first, just the first I'd seen, but still fascinating). I had to take pics of that.

I suspect that lot of people walk dogs through the park daily, though only maybe 2 or 3 at a time, but I bet only a very few realize what is happening far over their heads. Also I've noticed that when I want to point out the birds, I almost never see anyone, or if I do, they already know, they look again, express admiration (and "I keep my cats in at night") and then they move on. It's probably easier to see hawks, and possibly hawks are more used to people. I'm sure hawks will be at Robinson Park again this year and again tolerate all the humans every Saturday morning for the growers market.

Two pics taken the same day as those above, from the ground, no telephoto lens used, of the tree the owls are in. You can see how far up they are. #1 is as I approach; #2 is from the shade behind another tree.

#2 (looking eastward, almost into the sun)

They knew I was there, I'm sure, but I hope I didn't worry the adult guardian. No one has told me they have been dive bombed by the guardian. Maybe owls are a bit more relaxed and self assured than hawks.


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