Palace of Fine Arts Barn Owls / by Walter Kitundu

After months of seeing evidence of owls at the Palace of Fine Arts, on April 12th Siobhan Ruck and I found the first recorded breeding Barn Owls in San Francisco in nearly a century.

There is a pair nesting near the top of some columns north of the rotunda. Begging calls were heard coming from the nest.

There is another pair that roosts in the rotunda, bringing the total to 4 owls plus the unseen juvenile(s).

This is one of the breeding pair. It seemed to be half-heartedly stalking these pigeons.

One of the rotunda owls takes a long stretch after a preening session. It quickly retreated into the columns as a Great Horned Owl flew through the rotunda and disappeared into the night.

Leaving the nest to hunt. The owl's eyes look particularly menacing because of the camera flash.

This one settled into a nearby pine to preen. I will be keeping an eye on our nocturnal friends and will post more images as I get them. I'm hoping to see the youngster soon.