Plastic Owl -- Real Hawks

In a land of representative government, we can only expect that lawmakers pass laws which reflect the will of the people.  San Francisco is known for its many anti-bird laws which, supposedly, reflect how the people of the City feel about wild birds.

Fastened atop a number of buildings throughout City Birds Country, the Heart of San Francisco, are found grotesque looking fake owls with (probably lead based) painted feathers, and placed with the purpose of freightening off all manner of birds -- in order that the City might be rid of all birds.

This picture shows a pair of Sharp-shinned Hawks who stopped by to take a good look at this monstrosity from all sides, seemingly puzzled as to why the thing, which frightens no wild birds, is placed there.  Finally bored, the hawks flew off.  At other times, Crows have been seen pecking away at the head of the fake owl -- hopefully not ingesting lead particles in the process.

The fake owl overlooks a courtyard which used to enjoy an historic pine tree which attracted all manner of birds:  Crows, Ravens, hawks both large and small, Robins, House Finches, Doves, Starlings and more.  The cutting down of the old-growth pine accomplished what the fake owl could not accomplish.  The cutting down of the tree got rid of most birds in the area.  Those birds, such as the pictured hawks, who wander by don't stay long.

This photo was first published November 1, 2007 by City Birds.

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