Birds and other animals
at McLaren Park
McLaren Park is an urban oasis...
...for hundreds of bird and animal species, some who make it their year-round home, and others who make McLaren a pit stop on their journeys along the Pacific Flyway or other migration paths.
The grassland and scrub habitats of McLaren Park provide foraging habitat for raptors, while the forests provide potential nesting habitat for these species. Habitat for smaller birds such as sparrows, finches, and flycatchers is available in the scrub and mosaic habitats throughout the park.
Bird watchers who visit the Golden Gate Park disc golf course always note the diminished songbird population. There is very little ground cover for them to forage in and reduced shrubbery and lower tree branches for them to perch on, and the regular sound of limbs snapping as discs whiz through the air must be alarming to many small animals. We are greatly concerned that a disc golf course in any part of McLaren Park will further reduce the fragile ecosystem that supports such a wide variety of passerines. In fact, the SF Natural Areas Plan designates several already-threatened Sensitive Species and Important Bird Habitat Areas in McLaren Park that the proposed course will overlap.
McLaren Park provides breeding habitat for over 50 species of birds. This is only one of a couple sites in San Francisco where the beautiful Lazuli Bunting breeds. In addition to breeding birds, many other bird species rely on McLaren Park as habitat during migration.
-- From GG Audubon letter to RPC
McLaren Park Breeding Bird List
These are species identified as breeding at McLaren Park (See SF Breeding Bird Atlas). One species is classified as near-threatened on the IUCN scale (NT), and over twenty have been observed directly on one of the proposed disc golf fairways by Save McLaren Park observers (DG). Many of these birds are also Golden Gate Audubon Society Species of Local Concern (SLC):
Several hills on or near proposed disc golf fairways are prime locations for butterfly hill-topping.
Bugs & Little Critters
Unsung heroes of the natural world get their shout out here, from earthworms to dung beetles to several species of native bees to spiders to dragonflies and so much more. This "foundation of the forest" makes life possible for all the birds and other larger animals in the park. Habitat for many of these species would be trampled and eroded by the ongoing activities of a disc golf course, just as it has been in Golden Gate Park.
BayNature.org's Bees of the Bay Area
Western Fence Lizard
Commonly seen sunning on paths, rocks, and fence posts, and other high places.
This behavior makes them an easy target to predation by snakes, birds, and even
some mammals. They protect themselves by employing their fast reflexes.
Potato Bug What can you say about Potato bugs?
Photo from WikiMedia Commons by Jerry Kirkhart
Other small mammals in McLaren Park