Thursday, November 19, 2009

I found this glorious Great Horned Own in a grove of non-indeginous Eucalyptus trees in the Marin Headlands. I see they are cutting down all sorts of trees in the Presidio. I know the Great Horned Owl is frequently seen in the groves there. I can not really imagine who is thinking cutting down all the trees along Doyle Drive is a good idea. Sure is a nice clear vision of the highway now though (thanks) and it sure is making a pristine place more and more urban. I think it is really really important to understand that the Presidio has afforded us a natural refuse in the San Francisco. I can just imagine the Urban planner proudly saying "We will make more views of the Golden Gate Bridge". I bet they would not have gotten that through say the Sausalito Planning Department and I don't really understand how anyone can think deforresting that area is a good idea.

I am one of those "problems" who goes through the Presidio on a regular basis. They apparently find the traffic to be a problem. My grandparents are buried in the cemetery there and I often stop to reflect. Yes, I know, I have to share and I am happy about most of the developments on the Presidio, but when they cut down the Monterey Pines and left that wide open swath directly looking at the freeway my heart sunk. I really was at odds with myself the next few days succumbing to the idea that it might be time to move from the Bay Area.

As they say "It is just not cool guys".

The Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus, is a large owl native to the Americas. It is an adaptable bird with a vast range and is the most widely distributed true owl in the Americas.

Individual Great Horned Owls range in length from 18-27 in (46-68 cm) and have a wingspan of 40-60.5 in (101-153 cm); Females are larger than males, an average adult being 22 in (55 cm) long with a 49 in (124 cm) wingspan and weighing about 3.1 lbs (1400 g). Bergmann's Rule generally holds: larger individuals are found towards Polar regions, smaller towards the Equator.
Adults have large ear tufts, a reddish, brown or gray face and a white patch on the throat. The iris is yellow, except the amber-eyed South American Great Horned Owl (B. v. nacurutu). Its "horns" are neither ears nor horns, simply tufts of feathers. The underparts are light with brown barring; the upper parts are mottled brown. The legs and feet are covered in feathers up to the talons. There are individual and regional variations in color; birds from the sub-Arctic are a washed-out, light-buff color, while those from Central America can be a dark chocolate brown.Their call is a low-pitched but loud ho-ho-hoo hoo hoo; sometimes it is only four syllables instead of five. The female's call is higher and rises in pitch at the end of the call. Young owls make hissing or screeching sounds that are often confused with the calls of Barn Owls.

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