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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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
National Geographic and the National Park Service have partnered to conduct a BioBlitz in a different national park each year during the decade leading up to the NPS Centennial in 2016. For 24 hours, volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members try to find and identify as many... 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 >>
Most of us are aware that birds frequently vocalize. Some might find the sounds inspiring and soothing (scientific studies have shown that birdsong tends to make humans feel relaxed), or bothersome (a pesky house sparrow that begins bleating outside your bedroom window before dawn). Some sounds are distinctive (most people... more >>
Undoubtedly, the best place in California to view migrating raptors is Hawk Hill. Hoping to view some impressive birds of prey, you grab your binoculars and head up to the hill. While you are scanning the skies for hawks, a cloud of tiny birds zooms into view, filling your binocular... 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 >>