Golden Gate Audubon’s monthly Speaker Series in San Francisco and Berkeley features renowned naturalists, photographers, ornithologists, authors, international travelers, and other fascinating speakers.
To cover event costs, we ask non-members for a voluntary donation of $5. Non-members may attend for free if they join that evening. As always, GGAS members are welcome to attend free of charge. Locations are listed on the right side of this page.
Ospreys in the Bay AreaTony Brake and Harvey Wilson Berkeley: Thursday January 15 7 p.m. refreshments, 7:30 p.m. program
The last decade has seen a remarkably rapid expansion of Osprey nesting into San Francisco Bay tidelands. From a single nest reported in 1990 in Vallejo, numbers have risen to 27 nesting pairs in summer 2014. What’s behind this increase? What conservation challenges do nesting Osprey face here, and how can we help them?
Tony Brake and Harvey Wilson have been monitoring nesting Osprey along San Francisco Bay since 2012. Both volunteers with Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, they are among the co-authors of a paper on Bay Area Ospreys that was published this fall in the journal Western Birds.
From Plastic Gloom, Albatrosses BloomSusan Scott San Francisco: Thursday February 19 7 p.m. refreshments, 7:30 p.m. program
The 2.4 square miles of Midway Atoll host over a million nesting Laysan Albatrosses each year, along with tons of marine debris. Nets, buoys, and plastic trash wash onto beaches. Albatross parents often swallow plastic pieces and regurgitate them to their young. Yet, amazingly, the albatrosses thrive.
Susan Scott, a volunteer for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service since 1989, will share photos of her work with Midway’s albatrosses and explain how she uses the plastics littering their nests to educate people through art. Author of the memoir Call Me Captain, Susan writes a weekly Ocean Watch column for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Conservation of California Grassland BirdsLawrence Ford and Michelle Hammond Berkeley: Thursday March 19 7 p.m. refreshments, 7:30 p.m. program
California’s Mediterranean grasslands are a biodiversity hotspot, despite their domination by non-native grasses. Through science-based management of these habitats, we can help save birds at risk of extinction. Our speakers will explain how grazing practices affect birds such as the Burrowing Owl, Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle, Western Meadowlark, and Grasshopper Sparrow, and will share examples of positive grasslands management.
Lawrence D. Ford is Principal of LDFord Rangeland Conservation Science and Research Associate in environmental studies at U.C. Santa Cruz. Michele Hammond is Staff Research Associate of the Range Ecology Lab in the Environmental Science Policy and Management Department at U.C. Berkeley.