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The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a great place to see birds. You can see the largest migration of raptors in western North America in the Marin Headlands, find spotted owls in Muir Woods, or see shorebirds at Lands End (to name just a few).
Arguably, the quintessential part of... more >>
Recently, during a hike on one of northern California’s beautiful trails, I found a tail feather from a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). It was a long wing feather—mottled shades of white and brown and covered in fuzz, a signature of many owl species.
The feather was an interesting reminder of... more >>
“Harrier!” exclaimed my co-intern, Heather, pointing at a hawk skimming down the hillside.
I looked up as it passed, its long wings carrying it on an unwavering glide. I had no idea how to identify this raptor. “It has that patch of white at the base of its tail, just like... more >>
I wrote an earlier article on the background of the Hawk Hill restoration issue and its ecological intricacies (December 2011 Park E-ventures article), but here I wanted to address the big question that I heard only a few hundred times this autumn: what happened to the hawks as a... more >>
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. Why is this exciting?
Broad-winged Hawks are soaring hawks that nest throughout the eastern broad-leafed forests. They do... more >>
This season, the GGRO is able to use brand-new technology to help us track bird movements. On Friday, August 23 we put out a GSM (cell phone) transmitter on a female juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, nicknamed Augusta. This device utilizes a GPS device, similar to a hand-held or car GPS unit,... more >>
Throughout the 1980s–90s, the GGRO Peak Week—that is, the seven-day stretch that contained the highest hawk count days of the year—truly happened in a week (or roughly a week). In those not-so-ancient times, we recorded highest count days as early as September 15 (569 sightings in 1987) and as late... more >>
By Robyn Smith, GGRO Intern
For many visitors to the Marin Headlands, the main draw to Rodeo Lagoon may be a willow-lined walk to the beach, a picnic by the historic buildings of Fort Cronkhite, or a chance to watch some interesting wildlife.
In August, the east end of Rodeo Lagoon... more >>
By Chris Briggs
In March 2000, I got a call from Buzz Hull offering me a Parks Conservancy internship here in the Headlands with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. I was so excited for the opportunity to work with birds of prey,... more >>
“Is that hawk on a leash?!” The absurdity of the question nearly stopped me in my tracks last fall. As an intern and new docent with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, I had heard many of the same questions over and over again. Where... more >>