Rare owls are thriving in an unlikely spot in Los Angeles

A burrowing owl.
(Image credit: Douglas Barnum, U. S. Geological Survey via AP)

Scientists were thrilled to discover 10 rare burrowing owls earlier this month in an unexpected location: the edge of Los Angeles International Airport.

Several decades ago, the airport bought a development called Surfridge and demolished all of the houses. The empty land became the 302-acre LAX Dunes Preserve, which is now home to 900 plant and animal species, many of them endangered. Scientists say that the owls — the most seen there in 40 years — are a sign that a restoration project that began in the 1990s is a success. "This is very exciting — a real stunner," biologist Pete Bloom told the Los Angeles Times.

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