Raptor Research: Our Impact on Science in Six Stories

Golden Gate Raptor Observatory


Why study raptors? These animals fascinate us for their keen abilities, interesting lives, and amazing annual journeys. They are also critical members of the ecology in every place they visit along the vast Pacific Flyway, including the Bay Area. Keeping a pulse on birds of prey can tell us about their condition and how the ecosystems they inhabit are doing.

How far does a Broad-winged Hawk fly? What's on a Merlin's migration menu? Research conducted at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO) seeks to answer such questions about the incredible birds of prey we observe each year as they pass by Hawk Hill on their long migrations. Below you will learn about six research projects that, taken together, show the breadth of what we are learning and the kinds of questions we can ask, enabled by the GGRO's steadfast annual monitoring. These stories were prepared by several GGRO volunteers, who together with our research partners make this science possible. 



The Golden Gate Raptor Observatory is a program of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in cooperation with the National Park Service, and is made up of 150 community volunteers and a small staff. GGRO’s mission is the preservation of California raptors through scientific research, outreach, and community involvement. Each year, we monitor and study the bird of prey migration on the central California coast, particularly at the Marin Headlands, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. We are dedicated to the conservation of raptors both through careful data collection and through involving the public in every aspect of our research.

Our deep gratitude to the Gregory Hind Endowment Fund for critical support of the GGRO, also to the more than 600 people who donated to the GGRO in 2022.

If you would like to use GGRO data, please contact us: ggro@parksconservancy.org

Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Allen Fish, GGRO Director
Teresa Ely, GGRO Senior Biologist and Banding Manager
Laura Echávez, GGRO Senior Biotechnician
Krista Fanucchi, GGRO Assistant Biotechnician
Yolanda Molette, Director of Conservation & Community Science (CCS)
Mellice Hackett, CCS Operations Manager
Carmen DeLeon, CCS Program Manager
Michela Gentile, CCS Science Engagement & Communication Specialist
Lizzy Edson, Data Manager
Janet Klein, Vice President of Community Connections
National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Bill Merkle, Wildlife Ecologist / GGRO Advisor
Alison Forrestel, Natural Resources & Science Lead

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