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Odonates are dragonflies and damselflies that are associated with water. As flying adults, they are carnivorous that prey on other insects. Their name comes from the Greek word odṓn meaning “tooth”—even though it is now known that their strong mandibles (jaws) do not have teeth but rather serrations.
Dragonflies are fairly... more >>
When observing animal species, the sexes often can be determined by noting differences in coloration, size, features, and even behavior. For example, male elk grow antlers, while females do not; in lions, the males have a mane, and the females do not. Among higher vertebrates, one manifestation of this “sexual... more >>
Movements of Red-tailed Hawks/Peregrine Falcons with GSM
During the fall season, GGRO will continue its study of raptor movements utilizing GSM transmitters, which combine GPS and cell phone technologies to “text” researchers the tagged hawk’s locations. Because they are solar-powered, the units have the potential to last several years. They are... more >>
Although Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO) volunteer hawkwatchers have been happily counting hawks since mid-August from their usual perch, the hawks really start pouring through in mid-September. So now is a perfect time to plan your trip to visit Hawk Hill—just across the Golden Gate Bridge!
The best raptor hours are... more >>
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 >>