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One Finch, Two Firs, Red Fox, Blue Fish

One Finch, Two Firs, Red Fox, Blue Fish

A flash of silver in the creek. A whir of wings from the branches above. A bushy tail disappearing into a tangle of undergrowth.

For most of us, encounters with wildlife in the Golden Gate National Parks are fleeting. Rarely do we have the opportunity to document, share, and fully appreciate... more >>


March 2014 | Leave a comment

Feeling Proactive in a Time of Drought: Don’t Panic, Plant Natives!

Feeling Proactive in a Time of Drought: Don’t Panic, Plant Natives!

Even though Mother Nature was kind enough to turn the waterworks on in mid-February, California continues to be affected by a severe drought and the recent rains may not be enough to reverse the trend.

According to dendrochronology, or the dating of past (climactic) events by measuring tree ring growth, trees... more >>


March 2014 | Leave a comment

The Ravens of Hawk Hill: Intelligence, Play, and Social Behavior

The Ravens of Hawk Hill

On any visit to Hawk Hill, you might notice the resident common ravens (Corvus corax) hanging out on fencing, sitting on platforms, or acrobatically tumbling through the air. 

Ravens belong to a taxonomic family of birds called the corvids, which also... more >>


March 2014 | 3 Comments | Leave a comment

Beyond BioBlitz: Project WISE Youth Bring Science to the Parks

Beyond BioBlitz: Project WISE Youth Bring Science to the Parks

Just two weeks before the BioBlitz in the Golden Gate National Parks, the Crissy Field Center’s Project WISE (Watersheds Inspiring Student Education) program will hold their annual Environmental Science Symposium. On March 19 and 20, Advanced Placement Environmental Science students... more >>


March 2014 | Leave a comment

Bioblitz: Test Your Species Spotting Skills

Bioblitz: Test Your Species Spotting Skills

On March 28–29, you can join expert-led teams at sites all across the Golden Gate National Parks for a historic Bioblitz—a 24-hour event in which volunteers count as many birds, insects, fish, mammals, lichen, and other organisms as possible!

Organized by... more >>


February 2014 | 1 Comments | 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

Park Quiz: Bones of Contention

Bones of Contention

In honor of Halloween and the Day of the Dead, we’ve got a bone to pick with you. Put on your thinking (skull)cap and see how many of these skeletal remains you can identify—of animals found in the Golden Gate... more >>


November 2013 | 14 Comments | 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

 

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