GGAS Is Hiring!

Summer 2020 Gull is available

The spring 2020 issue of our Gull newsletter is now available online, featuring details on the positive impact of GGAS's Master Birder class.

GGAS’s Code of Ethics

Golden Gate Audubon Society Code of Ethics

At Golden Gate Audubon Society, we believe deeply in our dual responsibility to protect and enhance the welfare of bird populations and their habitats and to promote a safe, inclusive, welcoming, and holistic birding experience for birders. We strive to minimize and counteract our personal and collective environmental impact through education, advocacy, on-the-ground habitat protection, and individual action. Please adhere to our code of conduct while birding, interacting with wildlife, and interacting with the diverse array of people who engage with our trips, excursions, and online platforms. 

We stand by National Audubon Society’s Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. We emphasize the following:

  • Do not insult, belittle, threaten, or attack other participants under any circumstances, whether by private message, email, in person, on social media, or on the GGAS chat group. 
  • Be mindful that members of our community span different birding abilities, birding styles, economic backgrounds, sexual and gender identities, religions, cultures, political views, physical abilities, and other identities that may or may not be visible. Assume nothing and respect everyone.
  • Do not make offensive references to race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or physical or cognitive ability. Framing offensive remarks as a joke is no excuse. 
  • Disagreements and criticisms are best delivered privately and respectfully, not in public forums.

With respect to the welfare of birds, we follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics, Audubon’s Guide to Ethical Bird Photography and emphasize:

  • Do not post the locations of nests.
  • Do not post the locations of day-roosting owls. 
  • Do not post the locations of sensitive species, where such visitation by birders could have an adverse impact.
  • During nesting season, do not use audio recordings to lure birds into view.
  • If your approach causes a bird to flush (fly or run away) or change its behavior, you’re too close.

Our responsibility is both to adhere to the Code of Ethics and to encourage others to do the same. When in doubt, first consider the welfare of the birds and others around you and the welfare of the bird(s).

Violations of these guidelines will be reviewed by the Golden Gate Audubon staff, members of the Board of Directors, and/or the Golden Gate Audubon Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and may lead to a ban from our chat list, social media, field trips, volunteer events, travel program, or other GGAS activities. 

Nature activities for kids during Covid-19

Are your kids sheltering-in-place at home because of the Covid-19 epidemic? Enjoy these fun projects to learn about birds and nature at home and in your neighborhood, prepared by our Eco-Education team.

These activities are geared primarily towards elementary school-aged children, and incorporate STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) and language arts skills, as well as direct observations of nature and outdoor activities. They are available in English and Spanish.

In English:

Bird Detective – explore birds in your neighborhood

Anna’s Hummingbird by Bob Gunderson

Listening Bingo  – what sounds do you hear in your neighborhood?

Hummingbird Story Packet – read and discuss an Ohlone folktale about hummingbirds

Hummingbird Math – do hummingbird hearts beat faster than yours?

Make A Hummingbird – all you need are scissors, crayons, and tape or glue

How to Help Birds – ways your family can help birds and their S.F. Bay habitat

En Español:

Bird Detective (Detective de Aves) – Spanish

Listening Bingo (Bingo de Escuchar) – Spanish

Hummingbird Math (Matemática del Colibrí)  – Spanish

How to Help Birds (Diez Maneras de Ayudar las Aves) – Spanish

Other ideas: 

Our Osprey NestCam offers live streaming views of an active Osprey nest along the Richmond shoreline. Watch with your family and talk about what you see the Ospreys doing, and why you think they’re doing it. You can also join our free Osprey chat group to ask questions and share your reactions. Our Osprey web site has free downloadable lesson plans for grades 6-12, which you may be able to simplify and adapt for younger children. (Yes, you may download these even if you’re not a teacher — just write “Covid” in the space where it asks for your school!) 

National Audubon Society offers a wide range of activities for children and families, from online bird drawing lessons to tips for observing city pigeons. See audubon.org/get-outside/activities/audubon-for-kids. 

Put up a bird feeder in your yard. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has information on how to get started. Then download the free Merlin app or go to allaboutbirds.org to identify and learn about the species you’re attracting. 

And here’s a short video about outdoor nature activities with kids by our friend Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro. This was created before the epidemic, but can help when your family is feeling housebound now.…

GGAS’s Statement on Civil and Environmental Justice

June 3, 2020

The events of the past few weeks – the continuing, horrific violence against Black and Brown people, the crushing weight of the pandemic, and the economic insecurities entangled in this sickness – have made one thing abundantly clear: we have a moral obligation to make our world a better, and safer place, for everyone. If we believe that birding and nature are for all people, we must set into motion and continue the difficult work of nurturing positive change within ourselves and within our communities. COVID-19 is not the only virus infecting our lives, endangering our health, and threatening our spirits. The disease that is racism harms us too. The disease that is racism kills Black and Brown people in America.

Golden Gate Audubon Society has been enriched by our inclusive and diverse community of birders, environmentalists, and conservationists of all colors and backgrounds. As we work for environmental justice and protection, we aim to build a society that values all. We do this through our programs that benefit diverse and traditionally underserved communities; we do this through our habitat restoration efforts to make the land healthy for humans and birds alike; and we do this through our actions to stand up for what we believe is right. We know we have more work to do, in our organization and in our communities. We are committed to continuing to strive for equality, especially through the lens of environmental justice and climate change, two issues that intersect and disproportionately affect communities of color.

Black lives matter. We are horrified by the racist treatment Black birders such as Christian Cooper have endured at the hands of individuals who seek to oppress or who act in harmful ways due to ingrained prejudices. We support Black birders and all birders of color. We understand many aggressions are not documented for the world to see. We believe their experiences. As a result, we will continue to make GGAS a safe place for all people by upholding the highest standards of engagement with our community, with nature, and with each other.

We are grieving over the travesty of senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Dion Johnson, Tony McDade, and countless others. GGAS stands with the commitment to defend Black lives and achieve racial justice. As an organization that cherishes our diverse community, GGAS will always strive to equitably and inclusively share our love of birds and wildlife with every person who seeks the peaceful and enriching gift of nature.…