Tag Archives: birds

Barn Owl in Sutro Forest

Evening visitors to the Sutro Forest have long known that Great Horned Owls live or visit there.  They’re specially easy to hear, with soft resonant hoots. Last night, it was a Barn Owl, which is less easy to see. This … Continue reading

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Invisible Nests – Tree Work Should Avoid the Nesting Season

This article is reposted with permission from CoyoteYipps, a blog about San Francisco’s urban coyotes. We republish it here as an interesting story – and a lesson in how difficult it is to see a bird’s nest even if you … Continue reading

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Protecting Mount Sutro Cloud Forest Helps Biodiversity

In view of discussions of biodiversity and mosaics in ecosystems, we are republishing a post from May 2010 that addresses this issue. Mount Sutro Cloud Forest is part of a mosaic of biodiversity in the Western part of San Francisco. … Continue reading

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Sutro Forest Attrition

The July message from UCSF was both innocuous and concerning. They were going to do some “hazardous tree work” immediately… and more in the Fall. UCSF must immediately remove some hazardous trees in the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve in … Continue reading

Posted in deforestation, Mt Sutro Cloud Forest, UCSF | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Walking in Sutro Forest – June, July 2014

It’s a while since we posted about Sutro Forest conditions, so we’d like to record pictures and observations from the last few weeks. Much of the forest is still very beautiful, especially in the fog. But around 1200 trees have … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, eucalyptus, Hiking, Mt Sutro Cloud Forest | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sutro Forest: Good News; Bad News; Action Alert

Last month, we wrote about about two things: Tree-cutting in Sutro Forest in the bird nesting season; San Francisco’s new “Office of Biodiversity” that was looking for a $250,000 grant to fund developing a so-called ‘Biodiversity Plan’ that would extend … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Mount Sutro Stewards, nativism, UCSF | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sutro Forest: Risk and Uncertainty

UCSF’s sent out another notice for tree removals. Presumably, these will be the remaining trees  marked with orange dots last year.  It’s the middle of the nesting season now, and we do not understand either the urgency — or the … Continue reading

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Felling Orange-dot Trees in the Nesting Season

In March 2014, soon after UCSF said it was delaying work on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for now – it sent around this message. “Beginning on Monday, March 17th, Bartlett Tree Experts will be performing tree work throughout the … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Mt Sutro Cloud Forest, UCSF | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

February Idyll in Mount Sutro Forest: Bikes, Flowers, Slug

The welcome little storm that passed through a few days ago watered the forest, but it wasn’t actually raining on February 13th. So when someone emailed us to say they wanted to see the forest – for the first time … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Hiking, Mt Sutro Cloud Forest | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rat Poison Killed Glen Canyon’s Owl

This article has been republished from ForestKnolls.info as a caution to everyone interested in protecting our owls. They live in Sutro Forest, too. We hope and believe that UCSF does not use rodenticides in the Aldea Student Housing, but we … Continue reading

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Ostriches below Mt Sutro Forest

If we were thinking of non-native species of birds, we probably couldn’t get much further than ostriches. So it seemed particularly appropriate to post this picture. The graceful non-native trees of Mt Sutro Forest fill the background, and in the … Continue reading

Posted in Mt Sutro Cloud Forest, nativism | Tagged , ,

Fact Check: Nothing Grows UnderEucalyptus? (Allelopathy)

Like most people in the US, we’ve been listening to some of the political speeches and the discussion around them recently. And we’re rather heartened by a newly emerging trend: fact-checking. In the last few months, one “fact” we’ve heard … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, eucalyptus, Mt Sutro Cloud Forest, nativism | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Forest in May

Spring in the Sutro Forest is lovely. Where the canopy is largely unbroken, the sunlight streams through the trees with the filtered light particular to forests. Last week,  flowers bloomed in the lower reaches of the mountain: the pinkish-purple Robert … Continue reading

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San Francisco’s Natural Areas Program Ignores Breeding Birds

We’d written earlier about chainsaws in Glen Canyon Park, even though spring is the breeding season for birds and animals, a time when trees and thickets should be left undisturbed. [Click HERE to read that article, Chainsaws in the Nesting … Continue reading

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Glen Canyon Park: Chainsaws in the Nesting Season

The nesting season for birds is in full swing. San Francisco’s mild winter and recent rains have provided a window for building and breeding, and they’ve grabbed it. The birding reports are full of lovely stories, from humming-birds to Great … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, nativism, Natural areas Program | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The $3.4 mn “Park” at Sutro Dunes

We’ve driven by there a hundred times, and never noticed it… but it’s a Natural Area and a park, opposite Ocean Beach. It’s just below the bluff topped by Sutro Park, across the road from some neat condos.  It’s been … Continue reading

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The San Francisco Forest Alliance

We’ve been critical of the so-called “Natural” areas program (or officially, the Significant Natural Resource Areas Plan) that covers some 1100 acres across 32 separate parks in San Francisco.  While the idea of a Natural Area is appealing (as it … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, eucalyptus, Herbicides, Herbicides: Roundup, Garlon, nativism, Natural areas Program | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Glen Canyon Park: Birds, Habitat, and the Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Program (SNRAMP)

Recently, we attended a meeting where we were given a beautiful pamphlet regarding the Feathered Friends of Glen Canyon Park. It pictured 45 species of birds that have been sighted in the park (including flyovers). And it said: “Willows that … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, nativism, Natural areas Program | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Summer Tanager and San Francisco’s Non-Native Plants

One of the more interesting groups to watch, if you like birds, is the Yahoo group SF Birds. (Anyone can read it, but you must join to post in it. [ETA: It’s apparently been changed to a members-only group; only … Continue reading

Posted in Environment | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Why San Francisco’s Natural Areas Are — Unnatural

WHEN I first heard about San Francisco’s Natural Areas Program (SF NAP) some years ago, I was charmed. Over 1000 acres of city-owned land would be left to Nature, more wild and free than the orderly, gardened lawns and playgrounds … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Natural areas Program | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Bird-safe Buildings for San Francisco

Bird-killers. More dangerous than wind-farms, more insidious than cats… it’s windows. (The glass ones, not the thing produced by Microsoft.) Birds can’t see normal glass, and crash into it. Either they die, or they become easy prey. San Francisco, like … Continue reading

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Cats, Catbirds: Why the Smithsonian study doesn’t say what everyone thinks it does

There’s been a huge amount of publicity recently about a 2004 study, publicized by the highly-respected Smithsonian. It implies that cats are the main cause of death of songbirds, and has become a talking point for those advocating stronger measures … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Mount Sutro Stewards, Mt Sutro Cloud Forest | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Habitat Destruction with Sutro Stewards

Around this time last year, Sutro Forest was alive with birdsong all day from dawn to late dusk. “We walked up into the Sutro Forest on a peaceful bird-filled evening,” we wrote  in late February 2010. “A few outside noises … Continue reading

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Mount Sutro Forest Ecosystem and Wildlife Habitat

We’ve talked earlier about how Sutro Forest works as a Cloud Forest, and why it’s always damp. Today, it’s Sutro Forest as an ecosystem and a habitat.  UCSF recently had a scoping meeting for its Environmental Impact Review for their … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, eucalyptus, Mount Sutro Stewards, UCSF | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Ravens vs Great Horned Owls by Patricia Greene

We’re always interested in our forest’s most spectacular residents: The Great Horned Owls. Today we saw this fascinating account from Patricia Greene on a birding group, and are re-printing it below with permission. I and others have been hearing Great … Continue reading

Posted in Mt Sutro Cloud Forest | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Sutro Forest Visit: Hawk and Butterflies

It was a beautiful day up in the forest, bright and breezy.  We took the trail from Christopher to the South Ridge trail, then up the South Ridge Trail to the Native Garden. The connector trail had been aggressively groomed, … Continue reading

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Report: UCSF Forest Meeting, July 2010

UCSF’s Forest meeting this evening had a reasonably good turnout with a few new faces among the familiar ones. Janet Kessler, the Jane Goodall of San Francisco’s coyotes, was present but preferred not to speak in public. We suggested she … Continue reading

Posted in eucalyptus, Herbicides, Herbicides: Roundup, Garlon, Meetings, Mt Sutro Cloud Forest, Neighborhood impact, Sutro Forest "Fire Risk", UCSF | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Failed Experiment at Tank Hill

Someone emailed us to ask why UCSF were  bothering with demonstration projects, when there was the obvious example of Tank Hill. “Trees were cut down, natives planted and died,”  said the email. What did they achieve? So we looked into … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, eucalyptus, nativism, Neighborhood impact | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Hazardous Tree Removal, Chain Link Fence, etc

At the last agenda planning meeting, one of the issues raised was managing hazardous trees near homes. A Forest Knolls resident of Crestmont Drive pointed out that neither the City nor UCSF were accepting responsibility for hazardous trees (some dead, … Continue reading

Posted in Mt Sutro Cloud Forest, UCSF | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

More Sutro Forest Birds

Some time ago, we’d posted a bird-list from birder Keith McAllister: Nearly 30 species seen or heard in a single morning in the Sutro Forest. From several other people, and covering several separate visits to the forest, we have yet … Continue reading

Posted in eucalyptus, Mt Sutro Cloud Forest | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments