Endangered Bird Spotted Nesting In San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — A bird whose populations were decimated in San Francisco and other parts of California has been spotted nesting in the city’s Bayview District.

A pair of California clapper rails and their two chicks were seen earlier this month in Heron’s Head Park. The Aug. 8 sighting was the first time in decades the endangered bird has been discovered to be breeding in the city.

The chicken-like bird was once abundant in wetlands from Monterey to Humboldt County, including in the San Francisco Bay area. But hunting and a loss of habitat to development contributed to its decline.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that there were about 500 clapper rails by the early 1970s. Wetlands restoration has helped the bird make a comeback. Wildlife biologists say it now numbers between 1,000 and 1,500.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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