Dec 06 2009

Albany Owl Habitat Still Unused

Published by under Owl Habitat

Albany Habitat Set Aside for Owls Going Unused
A field set aside as a habitat for the Western Burrowing Owl sits empty near the Albany shore, and some locals say the project doesn’t make any sense

Watch the piece about the burrowing owl habitat


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May 03 2008

Where is that Owl?

1 Owl – 8.0 Acres – $125,700

Would someone please educate me on this whole burrowing owl plan. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know everything about the burrowing owl or its habitat – not for lack of trying though.

I can’t find much from the newspapers, council meeting minutes or the waterfront plans.

What I have found out is  The Environmentalists: “ were also concerned about the potential impacts of developing the Gilman Street site because a burrowing owl was spotted there two years ago. No nests were found, however, and plans now call for burrowing owl habitat to be enhanced and protected at the Albany plateau.”

So, okay I got it – A burrowing owl was spotted two years ago, and no nests were found.

Albany Waterfront coalition says “This was a trade-off agreed on when the future ballfields . were planned: It is hoped that Burrowing Owls on the ballfields will choose to relocate to the Plateau.”

Seems that single owl spotted some two years ago is now plural and there is hope they will relocate.

Please someone tell me – help me to understand.

Just where is that Burrowing Owl now? And what are the chances of a successful relocation which would warrant 8.0 acres of land?

Is it simply a matter of “If we build it they will come”?’

I can’t imagine it is as easy as that – especially after reading an article “Passive Relocation: A Method to Preserve Burrowing Owls on a Disturbed Site” – a relocation protocol used at sites in the Bay Area “to relocate birds living in burrow directly in the path of commercial development”. Guidelines recommend surveys on site and artificial burrowns placed close to the burrows to be destroyed.

So far I can’t find anything about surveys or artificial burrows at the site of the Berkeley Sports Fields.

Again, I repeat – ONE owl spotted TWO YEARS ago, NO nests found = Fencing off 8.0 acres of land – at an expense of $125,700? And where is that Owl?!


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Apr 21 2008

More on the Burrowing Owl Project

Published by under Albany plateau,Owl Habitat

“Funding for the (the $57,000) project at the Eastshore State Park has been provided by the Joint Powers Authority Agency, formed by the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville and Richmond, to account for the owl habitat lost when the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex south of Golden Gate Fields was approved. The sports complex is scheduled to open in September.” –

“This was a trade-off agreed on when the future ballfields . were planned: It is hoped that Burrowing Owls on the ballfields will choose to relocate to the Plateau.” – Albany Waterfront Coalition

Has anyone notified the owl(s) about this move?


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Apr 16 2008

Albany Shoreline Burrowing Owl Conservation Project

Published by under Owl Habitat

Click on map for full size PDF

Today, “the City of Albany and the East Bay Regional Park District will began a two month conservation project at the Albany Plateau to create habitat for the burrowing owl. This project is within Eastshore State Park and is a partnership etween the East Bay Regional Park District and the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, and Richmond.
When completed, the conservation area will include a fenced 8.0 acre section area providing low ground cover and some open space with the goal of providing some protection from local predators. Burrows will created inside to simulate the abandoned rodent holes the owl typically inhabits. Included in the plan is preserving and enhancing hte half mile of viewing trail around the perimeter and along the bay and mudflats, which privides excellent bird viewing area. The East Bay Regional Park District will install interpretive panels about the project.”

All the details are on the East Bay Regional Park District website where you can download the map and Project Information Sheet.


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Oct 14 2007

Recent Developments Burrowing Owl Habitat Project at the Albany Plateau

Published by under Homeless,Owl Habitat

City of Albany Report: City of Albany City Council Agenda Staff Report
Background: During the planning process for Eastshore State Park from 1999 through 2002, the demonstration of community need for sports fields led to the designation of the eastern side of the Albany Plateau an “active recreation” land use category. This was problematic because of its proximity to the Albany Mudflats State Marine Sanctuary and because State Parks is not in the practice of operating formal sports fields facilities.

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