We got word today from an anonymous source that two residents of Bernal Heights -- including a former President of Golden Gate Audubon Society -- spotted a burrowing owl a block from their house on the southeastern side of the hill. The (sub?)species was confirmed by another Audubon-er.

So, why does this matter? Because at the moment there is construction going on in the same area (i.e., landscaping improvements such as steps, etcetera) where the owl is kicking it. According to Wikipedia, for what it's worth, "[t]he burrowing owl is endangered in Canada, threatened in Mexico, and a species of special concern in Florida and most of the western USA." ("Species of special concern." Aw.) Burrowing owls usually live in ground squirrel holes, according to our source, but so far the bird has been reported up on the Hill, in a tree for the last couple of days.

We talked to the former Audubon president today about the birdie finding, and the Bernal resident wants to know more. To find out if an environmental-impact report was done on the area before current construction, they tried calling the Mayor's office, 311, Tom Ammiano's office, and the City Attorney's office. So far, no one has returned any calls. They also discussed the issue with various fish and game associations, with not much luck there either.

If any of you have further info, we're sure that she (as well as the GG Audubon Society) would love to hear from you, readers. (Also, no little baby kittens better get hurt with this construction, damnit! Kitty cats = sheer darlingness.)