Owls well that ends well after Hermosa Beach tree trimming

A barn owl takes shelter in a neighboring palm tree after being flushed from its home by tree trimmers. Photo by Jefferson Graham

by Kevin Cody

Two Hermosa Beach barn owls who became celebrities last December after local television stations reported their homes were threatened by city tree trimmers, are no longer in danger, despite their tree being trimmed Tuesday afternoon.

The owls were flushed from the tree before the tree trimming began. One of the owls settled in a neighboring Canary Island Palm, while the other flew to the Hermosa Greenbelt, where owls are known to take shelter. When tree trimmers began trimming the neighboring palm, the owl that had settled there also flew off in the direction of the Greenbelt. 


Tree trimmers remove hazardous fronds from a Canary Ireland Palm tree that had been home to two barn owls. Photo by Kevin Cody

Izumi Brandvoid, who alerted the television station in December about the owls’ plight, said Tuesday, she is hopeful the two owls will return to the palm in front of her house. She said owls have lived in the tree since at least 2017 when she moved to the neighborhood.

City officials said the tree trimming was necessary because falling fronds were a hazard to pedestrians on the sidewalk beneath the tree, in the 600 block of Longfellow Avenue.

“Hermosa has a rich biodiversity,” said city manager Suja Lowenthal, who observed the Tuesday tree trimming. ‘The city tries to be a good steward.”

A report completed prior to the tree trimming by biologist Lonnie Rodriquez’s  noted, “Wildlife species observed over the course of the survey include a monarch, a morning dove, a house finch, a Say’s phoebe, an Anna’s hummingbird, a Cassin’s kingbird, a Black Phoebe, and a yellow-rumped warbler.”

While trimming the second Canary Island Palm, workers encountered a beehive. After a beekeeper called to the site said it was too late in the day to remove the hive, the tree trimmers worked around the hive. ER


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