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The Smaller Winged Creatures Flying Through the Headlands

Variegated meadowhawk (Chris Heaivilin)

At the GGRO, we specialize in migrations. Generally we’re talking about the raptor migration through the Marin Headlands each fall, the largest in the Pacific states. But over the past few weeks, we have noticed another sizable migration—of dragonflies. 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 National Parks. more >>


November 2013 | 14 Comments | Leave a comment

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

Northern Harriers

As a nature lover hiking through the Marin Headlands, you might be able to quickly identify a couple of raptors flying overhead. At first glance, you also might discern their relative sizes. But what does that tell you about the sex of the raptors? more >>


November 2013 | Leave a comment

Golden Gate Selected for the 2014 National Geographic BioBlitz

Black-tailed deer (Jessica Weinberg)

The Golden Gate National Parks have been selected for the next BioBlitz, an opportunity for the public to participate in documenting the parks’ amazing biodiversity. Mark your calendars for two days of fun, exploration, and science on March 28–29, 2014! more >>


October 2013 | 1 Comments | Leave a comment

Fresh Tracks: GGRO Continues Innovative Raptor Monitoring

New color band (Abernathy)

In addition to our annual hawkwatch, banding, and radiotelemetry programs, the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory has launched several new research projects to further understand raptor movements and health. Read on to discover how you can help! more >>


October 2013 | Leave a comment

Rapturous Raptors: Insider Tips on Watching the Fall Migration

Hawk demo (Jessica Weinberg)

From now through November, 19 species of birds of prey will be making their annual appearance over the Marin Headlands. With tens of thousands of raptors counted during the fall migration, it’s the largest flight of its kind in the western U.S.! Read on for raptor-watching tips. more >>


September 2013 | Leave a comment

Twitter 1.0: Dissecting Five Types of Bird “Tweets”

Marsh Wren (Dave Freund)

To humans, bird vocalizations can be inspiring and soothing—or annoying, in the case of those early morning arias. But for birds, they perform critical communication functions. Read on to learn about five types of vocalizations, and what they teach us about birds’ surroundings. more >>


September 2013 | Leave a comment

The Speedy Swifts: Living Up to Their Name

White-throated Swift (Dave Kutilek)

Hawk Hill isn’t just a spot for watching raptors. In the fall, visitors who point their binoculars at smaller birds might be treated to the aerial acrobatics of migrating swifts. Learn more about these amazing—and mysterious—insectivores. more >>


September 2013 | Leave a comment

The Origins of Feathers

Bluebird

Feathers are a uniquely avian adaptation—or are they? While feathers can only be seen on birds today, evidence has shown that many dinosaurs also had feathers. Read on to learn about the variety—and possible purposes—of dinosaur feathers. more >>


August 2013 | Leave a comment

Owls: Custom-Made for Night Hunting

Great Horned Owl (Don Moseman)

The trailside discovery of a Great Horned Owl tail feather sparked this rumination: What are some of the many adaptations that make owls such proficient hunters in the dark, quiet night? Take wing and learn more about their unique traits. more >>



 

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