The burrowing owl, one of the stranger branches of bird evolution, is back to its nesting area in Cesar Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina. These owls don’t nest in trees but in burrows made by diggers like ground squirrels, of which there are many hundreds at this location. And this owl has long legs; it can run down ts prey on the ground as well as snatch it from the air. But isn’t it a bit early in the year for nesting? Well, lots of fruit trees are equally confused and are in bloom already (see second photo below, shot yesterday), so maybe the owl is taking its cue from the plant world.
Among the many trees in bloom this week, this one in the Berkeley Marina attracted a mob of sparrows, one of which posed reluctantly for this photo: