Burrowing Owl Surfaces After the Fire

Don Brubaker, USFWS

Don Brubaker was checking over the recent burn damage and dousing a smoldering fence post, when a burrowing owl flew around him and landed in the ash. He snapped the photo above.

Brubaker is the Refuge Manager of Antioch Dunes, Marin Islands, and San Pablo Bay. When he took this photo, he was on the 222 acre portion of Sears Point Unit of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge that was burned during the 1,660 acre 37 Fire of October 9, 2017.

Artificial Owl Burrows Have Survived the Fire

A few years prior to Sears Point being conveyed to the Refuge System, Sonoma Land Trust had installed artificial burrows about 10 yards from where the photo was taken. Brubaker is hopeful that the owls are using the burrows. Luckily, the artificial burrows survived the fire and Brubaker has seen two owls so far.

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