For online updates, follow Hawkcount on Twitter or "like" Golden Gate Raptor Observatory on Facebook, or call the Hawkwatch Hotline (415) 561-3030, ext 2500.

Subscribe to our RSS Feed and see our report summaries.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

It was a beautiful sunny day on the Hill. A few accipiters flew over today and it was entertaining to listen to experienced hawkwatchers argue over their species. Everyone got a different angle on the accipiters, which makes ID tricky. The one Cooper's Hawk today showed me its classic, elongated Coop shape by flying directly overhead. For others, all they saw were the Coop's unsteady flapping and pushed-forward "wrists," appearing Sharpie-like instead. The great accipiter debate will go on throughout the season, but these friendly arguments are always welcome on Hawk Hill. Thanks for reading and happy hawkwatching!

Total Sightings: 127
Hours Counted: 5.75
HPH: 22.09
Total Species: 7

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 70
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 46
American Kestrel: 4
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 29, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

Second day in a row of great visibility from Hawk Hill! Early on, the Monday 1 team watched a juvenile Bald Eagle soar effortless among a few Turkey Vultures. This spectacle set the tone for a great day, during which a total of ten different species were recorded. Red-shouldered Hawks were spotted for the first time this season, and a considerable number of Osprey were seen. Activity seemed to slow in the mid-afternoon as the winds picked up, but skies remained clear. We look forward to more exciting days as September quickly approaches.

Total Sightings: 151
Hours Counted: 6
HPH: 25.17
Total Species: 10

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 52
Osprey: 8
Bald Eagle: 1
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 7
Cooper's Hawk: 15
Red-shouldered Hawk: 14
Red-tailed Hawk: 43
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Unidentified...
Buteo: 5

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, August 28, 2016  
Posted by: Violet & Isabel

Today was a 9-species day on Hawk Hill! Within the first 45 minutes we deviated from our usual Redtails and Turkey Vultures with our first Northern Harrier of the season. We saw more Cooper's Hawks than the last few days and finally spotted a couple of Sharpies. The real treat of the day happened around 1pm when somebody loudly exclaimed "SWAINSON'S HAWK!!!" We identified the Swainie as a dark morph juvenile and were overjoyed at the uncommon sighting for the Marin Headlands. It was an exciting, sunny day for the hawkwatchers!

Total Sightings: 203
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 40.6
Total Species: 9

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 68
Osprey: 2
Northern Harrier: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 2
Cooper's Hawk: 14
Swainson's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 107
American Kestrel: 3
Peregrine Falcon: 3

Unidentified...
Buteo: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, August 27, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Violet

Hooray for a clear day on Hawk Hill! We had high fog all day, giving hawkwatchers a complete 360 degree view from the Hill. There was a steady count of Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures throughout the day, but an Osprey, a Peregrine Falcon, and a Cooper's Hawk were also seen. Among the 45 juvenile Red-tailed Hawks counted today, one was a dark morph! During the slow moments of the day, we shared chocolate and identified 6 American Lady butterflies in the bushes. It was great to have a full day of hawkwatching!

Total Sightings: 179
Hours Counted: 5
HPH: 35.8
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 102
Osprey: 1
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 74
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, August 26, 2016  
Posted by: Chase

"Finally!" I gasped as I reached the summit of Hawk Hill. Having been plagued by multiple days of white-out fog, my little intern heart soared at the chance to see some hawks. Today was my first official day of counting.

The fog continued to obscure many (if not most) of the landmarks and certain quadrants were less than ideal, however, Friday II managed to see not one, not two, but ten Turkey Vultures. We passed them back and forth a few times, giving our voices a chance to practice the Hill's volume control. It was a very special day for us all, finishing with a 50th birthday celebration!


Total Sightings: 10
Hours Counted: 2.25
HPH: 4.44
Total Species: 1

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 10

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, August 25, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Fogged out again! But the Thursday II team is stronger than ever with 12 volunteers, two interns, and our fearless leader, Step. We spent the morning having some great discussions about raptor identification and learning from slides versus in the field. Later in the afternoon, we did make it out to Conzelman road and saw turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks... plus an adorable raven couple preening each other!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016  
Posted by: Robert and Chase

Twas another foggy day on Hawk Hill. However, after an invigorating Raptor ID quiz, the hawkwatchers were galvanized to head to Conzelman Road. While Turkey Vultures wobbled their way across the sky, many sets of skilled eyes spotted a few Redtails. One adult Redtail even perched on a nearby rock, giving the avid watchers something to point their scope at. The highlight of the day was seeing a lone accipiter flap/glide across the landscape. A Cooper's Hawk was the general consensus. Although the sun peeked through the fog below, the Hill continued to be lost in white. Hopefully tomorrow will be luckier, but the Wednesday II crew still had a good day watching raptors!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Our day started with a welcome from a red-tailed hawk stilling over the path up the hill. The whole team stopped and watched the local red-tail hovering into the wind for about five minutes... we didn't realize that was a good omen for the day! We saw plenty of red-tailed hawks today, and, of course, a good amount of turkey vultures. Our highlights were the peregrine falcon on the Golden Gate Bridge and a juvenile Cooper's hawk perched on the hill. The fog came back to show us who's boss around three, so we ended the day a few minutes early... 12 raptors per hour and good visibility for Tuesday 2!

Total Sightings: 36
Hours Counted: 3
HPH: 12
Total Species: 4

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 16
Cooper's Hawk: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 18
Peregrine Falcon: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 22, 2016  
Posted by: Chase and Isabel

Today's Hawkwatch was cancelled once again due to--you guessed it--fog. However, we took our small team up to Hawk Hill to get a feel for the quadrant system. We also enjoyed lunch amidst the fog, getting to know one another, and even identifying a couple juvenile Red-tailed hawks floating around. With two new hawkwatchers on the team, I think the most valuable discussion we had today was not to feel insecure about your individual hawk ID skills. The important thing is that everyone is doing their part to spot raptors, get help from experienced hawkwatchers, and contribute to the overall accuracy of GGRO Hawkwatch data.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Sunday, August 21, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

After a long, foggy first week, the Hawkwatch team was finally able to count some raptors!!! We counted from 11:15am to 3pm, and had a total of 69 sightings. As the fog rolled in and out, we saw mostly Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures, with a couple of American Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons in the mix. Towards the end, 28mph winds were blowing the fog back into our faces, so we left the hill half an hour early. It was great to break the fog streak and finally count some hawks from Hawk Hill!

Total Sightings: 69
Hours Counted: 3.75
HPH: 18.4
Total Species: 5

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 30
Osprey: 1
Red-tailed Hawk: 33
American Kestrel: 2
Peregrine Falcon: 2

Unidentified...
Accipiter: 1

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Saturday, August 20, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

Another mostly foggy day out on Hawk Hill! It was clear enough for the team to go up to the hill to practice naming a few landmarks and taking weather data, but not clear enough to officially count anything. Around 1pm, we drove down to the old rifle range on Bunker Road and spotted a juvenile Cooper's hawk, two turkey vultures and quite a few adult red-tailed hawks stilling in the wind. No data, but still a fun day for the team!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Friday, August 19, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

We were hopeful that today would look differently than the last four, but unfortunately it did not. The fog almost lifted enough for us to count from Hawk Hill, but it stubbornly stayed too low. We saw the usual resident red-tailed hawks and a handful of turkey vultures from Conzelman Road, and a few of the team spotted a Cooper's hawk near the GGRO office. Maybe tomorrow will be different!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Thursday, August 18, 2016  
Posted by: Emily

Sorry this entry is a day late... we were fogged out and forgot to let you all know! We did not count any birds, but did do some practice hawk watching down Conzelman road by the bridge. We saw the resident red-tailed hawks, a couple of turkey vultures, and an osprey on our walk around the lagoon.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016  
Posted by: Violet

Hawk Hill was fogged out for a THIRD day! We spent time along Conzelman Road and spotted a few Red-tailed Hawks, a handful of Turkey Vultures, and a beautiful Northern Flicker, but did not count any of the raptors. The team had a nice time birding and eating homemade macaroons. Hopefully the fog will lift for tomorrow's count!

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016  
Posted by: Isabel and Chase

Unfortunately, Hawk Hill was fogged out on the second day of the season. This did not deter us from birding! We tramped around the Rodeo Lagoon and saw a Snowy Egret, Great Egret, and Great Blue Heron all in one scope view. We also spied a few dorsal fins on the horizon, which happened to be dolphins. All in all, not a lost day in the Marin Headlands.

Total Sightings: 0
Hours Counted: 0
HPH: 0
Total Species: 0

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.

Monday, August 15, 2016  
Posted by: Robert

Welcome to the 2016 fall migration season at the GGRO! Overcast skies on the first day allowed for the Monday 1 team to take its time getting up to Hawk Hill. After an informative meeting with GGRO staff and a quick raptor ID quiz, the team headed to the Annex. A slight break in the fog prompted the optimistic Hawkwatchers to quickly leave the Annex for the Hill. Over the period of an hour, we counted three Turkey Vultures and two Red-Tailed Hawks. Aging of the Red-Tailed Hawks proved difficult due to the foggy conditions. While it was a relatively slow first day, the Monday 1 Hawkwatchers felt fortunate to be spending their day in the Headlands with fellow wildlife enthusiasts. We look forward to the season ahead!

Total Sightings: 5
Hours Counted: 1.25
HPH: 4
Total Species: 2

Species Counts:
Turkey Vulture: 3
Red-tailed Hawk: 2

Data have not been entirely checked — contact Chris Briggs at cbriggs@parksconservancy.org for final results and for permission to use.


Contact Information

Hawkwatch Hotline
(415) 561-3030 (ext. 2500)