Bird experts with Golden Gate Audubon Society
indicate the Western Bluebirds probably have chicks in the nest, too.
The pair was spotted several times in the past few days bringing food
back to the nest.
“The Western Bluebird’s return gives us hope that
we can bring back some of the native species that were once lost from
San Francisco,” said Elizabeth Murdock, executive director of the Golden
Gate Audubon Society. “We’re delighted to see restoration efforts pay
off—and to welcome the bluebirds back to San Francisco.”
Golden Gate Audubon and the Presidio Trust are also
working to restore habitat for the California Quail—the City bird whose
populations have dwindled from the hundreds to roughly 15 birds.
The bluebirds have found the Lobos Creek Valley,
one of the first restoration sights in the Presidio, to be suitable
habitat in which to nest and raise their young.
The nest is actually in a Monterey Cypress tree
which is in the forest on the edge of the restored area, according to
the Golden Gate Audubon Society. But it is this restored native habitat
which provides the primary food source for the birds. Typically, these
birds prefer coastal and interior grasslands.
It is not clear why the bluebirds left San
Francisco in the 1930s. The last known reference of a Western Bluebird
sighting in the City was reported in Golden Gate Audubon’s newsletter,
The Gull, on June 15, 1936.
The bluebirds are one of the early indications of
the potential for restorative success and the reversal of the decline of
many native species.
The Lobos Creek Valley has historical significance
as one of the last known habitats of the Xerces Blue Butterfly, a
species that became extinct in the 1940's.
Golden Gate Audubon is dedicated to protecting Bay
Area birds, other wildlife and their natural habitats. We conserve and
restore wildlife habitat, connect people of all ages and backgrounds
with the natural world, and educate and engage Bay Area residents in the
protection of our shared, local environment.