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Coot Boon on Rodeo Lagoon!

American Coots (Ingrid Taylor)

One of the things winter visitors in the Marin Headlands might notice is the abundance of waterfowl at Rodeo Lagoon. Most people brush the birds off as just “ducks,” but a closer look reveals a far more complex avian world. more >>


January 2014 | Leave a comment

The Smaller Winged Creatures Flying Through the Headlands

Variegated meadowhawk (Chris Heaivilin)

At the GGRO, we specialize in migrations. Generally we’re talking about the raptor migration through the Marin Headlands each fall, the largest in the Pacific states. But over the past few weeks, we have noticed another sizable migration—of dragonflies. more >>


December 2013 | Leave a comment

Big Bird, Little Bird: Size and Identifying Sex of Raptors

Northern Harriers

As a nature lover hiking through the Marin Headlands, you might be able to quickly identify a couple of raptors flying overhead. At first glance, you also might discern their relative sizes. But what does that tell you about the sex of the raptors? more >>


November 2013 | Leave a comment

Fresh Tracks: GGRO Continues Innovative Raptor Monitoring

New color band (Abernathy)

In addition to our annual hawkwatch, banding, and radiotelemetry programs, the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory has launched several new research projects to further understand raptor movements and health. Read on to discover how you can help! more >>


October 2013 | Leave a comment

Rapturous Raptors: Insider Tips on Watching the Fall Migration

Hawk demo (Jessica Weinberg)

From now through November, 19 species of birds of prey will be making their annual appearance over the Marin Headlands. With tens of thousands of raptors counted during the fall migration, it’s the largest flight of its kind in the western U.S.! Read on for raptor-watching tips. more >>


September 2013 | Leave a comment

The Origins of Feathers

Bluebird

Feathers are a uniquely avian adaptation—or are they? While feathers can only be seen on birds today, evidence has shown that many dinosaurs also had feathers. Read on to learn about the variety—and possible purposes—of dinosaur feathers. more >>


August 2013 | Leave a comment

Owls: Custom-Made for Night Hunting

Great Horned Owl (Don Moseman)

The trailside discovery of a Great Horned Owl tail feather sparked this rumination: What are some of the many adaptations that make owls such proficient hunters in the dark, quiet night? Take wing and learn more about their unique traits. more >>



The Elusive, Mystifying Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Follow the trials and triumphs of a Golden Gate Raptor Observatory intern, as told through several encounters with a particularly mysterious species of raptor—the Northern Harrier. more >>


March 2013 | 5 Comments | Leave a comment

A Hawkwatcher’s View of the New Hawk Hill

Hawk in flight (Walter Kitundu)

A year ago, Monterey pines and Monterey cypresses were removed from Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands to restore endangered mission blue butterfly habitat. How did this affect the birds during fall migration? more >>


January 2013 | 1 Comments | Leave a comment

Broadwing Bonanza on Hawk Hill

Broadwing Hawks

On September 27, 2012, on Hawk Hill, we counted 295 Broad-winged Hawk sightings, 10 times our previous one-day count for that species. We even exceeded our season-total record—248 sightings—in just that one day. Aside from these impressive numbers, why is this exciting? more >>


November 2012 | 2 Comments | Leave a comment

 

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