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Citizen Scientists Root for the 'Sea Hawks'

Citizen Scientists Root for the 'Sea Hawks'

This coming February marks the first meeting of the Citizen Science Association, to be held in San Jose, Calif., and one of the more interesting and powerful CS concepts is the idea of “outcomes.” How is a citizen volunteer changed by participating in scientific research? The results might be mundane,... more >>


November 2014 | 1 Comments | Leave a comment

GGRO at 30: A Bird’s-Eye View of Its Successes

Cooper's Hawk

The Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO) is 30 years old this fall (you might even say it’s peeking into middle age). The year 1984 was indeed a long time ago; Ronald Reagan had just been re-elected. George W. Bush was between political campaigns and fully focused on starting small oil... more >>


September 2014 | Leave a comment

Wing-Wing Proposition: See Raptors, Advance Science as a GGRO Volunteer

Wing-Wing Proposition: See Raptors, Advance Science

The Bay Area is home to the biggest migration site for hawks, eagles, kites, falcons, harriers, and vultures—collectively known as raptors—in the Pacific States.

“Raptors migrate?” you might ask.

They do! Or rather, some do. We see Osprey and Peregrine Falcons each autumn that may be winging their way to the far... more >>


April 2014 | Leave a comment

The Glamorous, Fabulous Ferruginous Hawk

Adult Ferruginous Hawk, photo by Walter Kitundu

“Boy, I’d love to see a ferrug right now!”

This is one of the most often-spoken statements by hawkwatch volunteers at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO), and understandably so. 

The Ferruginous Hawk (known as the “ferrug” in hawkwatcher short-hand) is so... more >>


February 2014 | Leave a comment

Coot Boon on Rodeo Lagoon!

American Coots (Ingrid Taylor)

On any given winter day, you might see over a dozen species of water birds in Rodeo Lagoon (ducks making up only a small proportion of these)—not to mention all sorts of interesting songbirds and mammals. 

The most abundant species in the lagoon right now is the American Coot (Fulica americana).... more >>


January 2014 | Leave a comment

The Smaller Winged Creatures Flying Through the Headlands

Variegated meadowhawk (Chris Heaivilin)

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 >>


December 2013 | Leave a comment

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

Northern Harriers

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 >>


November 2013 | Leave a comment

Fresh Tracks: GGRO Continues Innovative Raptor Monitoring

New color band (Abernathy)

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 >>


October 2013 | Leave a comment

Rapturous Raptors: Insider Tips on Watching the Fall Migration

Hawk demo (Jessica Weinberg)

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 >>


September 2013 | 4 Comments | Leave a comment

The Origins of Feathers

Bluebird

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 >>


August 2013 | 25 Comments | Leave a comment

 

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