Last month we brought you news of a pair of Great Horned owls that had made their home in a Eucalyptus tree above the Claremont Canyon fire trail. Berkeleysider Charlie Benton took the photos above which provide evidence that the owl family has grown.
After we published our March 12 story, several readers reported that the owls had been swooping down on their dogs, including the 80lb golden retriever owned by Rob S. of Rockridge, and the 115 lb dog belonging to Matt Eccles. The owls’ natural instinct is to protect their territory and their young.
Mark H. reported seeing one owl sitting in an adjacent tree while another one sat on the nest. “It was the presumptive papa who swooped on my two Husky mixes, the day after it grabbed a large German Shepherd by the scruff of the neck. We now take the upper access off Stonewall to grant the owls some peace,” he wrote.
East Bay Regional Parks has made its signs, asking that dogs be kept on leash, more prominent and has also moved them to cover a longer section of the path.
For those interested in trying to spot the owls, the nest is on the second stretch of the switchback path towards the top. The nest is best viewed by walking a few feet beyond the tree, which is on the right side, and looking back. Even if you don’t see them, you may hear them. For recordings of owl calls and sounds, visit Owl Pages.
Owl sets up home on Berkeley trail, dog owners on alert [03.12.12]