Job Opportunities

Help us make the Bay Area a better place for birds and people! Golden Gate Audubon Society is currently hiring for two positions: Special Assistant for Communications, and Membership Coordinator.

You do NOT need to be an experienced birder for either of these jobs. But they are great opportunities to learn about birds and Bay Area conservation issues and to become part of a friendly community of people who love birds and are working hard to protect our shared Bay Area environment. Both positions are based in our Berkeley office.

Click here for the job description for Special Assistant for Communications.

Click here for the job description for Membership Coordinator.

Founded in 1917, Golden Gate Audubon engages people to experience the wonder of birds and to translate that wonder into actions that protect native bird populations and their habitats.

Golden Gate Audubon is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, people of all sexual orientations, and those with diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Our staff and board value diversity and are committed to respect and inclusiveness.

To apply, send a resume and cover letter to jobs@goldengateaudubon.org

Birdathon 2021: A Soaring Success

If Birdathon 2021 were a film, we’d say “it’s a wrap!”

Instead we’ll say, “it’s a rap-tor!”

Golden Gate Audubon Society’s annual fundraiser came to a high-flying conclusion over the weekend, capping two months of innovative new events designed to carry on despite Covid.

Unable to hold our usual in-person Birdathon programs, our creative volunteers came up with three alternatives: a series of ten Virtual Field Trips via Zoom, a socially distanced Christmas-in-May Bird Count, and an online Birdathon Adventure Auction. They culminated with a Birdathon Virtual Celebration on Sunday night.

These new events were highly successful in all respects—number of participants, quality of the experiences, and funds raised. Here’s a flyover raptor’s-eye view of them all.

White-tailed Kite during the Oakland Christmas-in-May Bird Count, by Mark RauzonWhite-tailed Kite during the Oakland Christmas-in-May Bird Count, by Mark Rauzon

Virtual Field Trips

We sponsored ten Zoom “trips” that ranged from viewing Sage-Grouse in Lassen County to a pelagic journey to the Farallones. Over 400 people signed up and attended an average of two trips each. We raised $13,200, or more than $1,000 per trip.

Bonus: Video recordings of all the Virtual Field Trips are available, so you can watch any that you missed! View descriptions of the trips here. Then call our office at (510) 843-2222 to provide credit card payment of $15 per trip and get the link to the recording. The best time to call is on Mondays through Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Christmas-in-May Bird Count

Over 140 people signed up for counts in Oakland and San Francisco that coincided with eBird’s Global Big Day on Saturday, May 8th. We managed to cover most of our regular Christmas Bird Count areas, and enjoyed sightings of breeding birds as well as balmy temperatures that aren’t available in December. Oakland count participants got to try out some new features—paperless reporting, using only eBird, plus new digital maps—that will prove useful in future Christmas Bird Counts.

Bird counting at Oakland ZooChristmas-in-May Count at the Oakland Zoo / Photo courtesy of Mark Rauzon Barn Owl during Christmas-in-May Bird Count by David Assmann

Registration fees generated a total of $3,260; one generous member covered fees for people who found them a challenge. Special thanks to count compilers Dawn Lemoine and Viviana Wolinsky (Oakland) and David Assmann and Siobhan Ruck (San Francisco) for creating this successful new event from scratch.

Birdathon Adventure Auction

The online auction, which closed Sunday night, brought in more than $15,000 for Golden Gate Audubon’s conservation and education programs!…

Osprey chicks are here!

Rosie and Richmond, the pair of Ospreys featured in our live nest cam along the Richmond shoreline, hatched two chicks over the May 1st weekend and the third is likely to hatch any day now.

Watch the nest live, via our two hi-def video cameras, at sfbayospreys.org. Or view daily highlights on our SF Bay Ospreys Facebook page or YouTube channel. Or if you just want a quick (adorable!) peek, click here for a video of the first chick shortly after hatching.

First chickFirst chick, at about 12 hours old.

 

“The emergence of these chicks inspires hope on so many levels,” said Glenn Phillips, Executive Director of Golden Gate Audubon. “It was just a couple of decades ago that Osprey numbers were dwindling because of the pesticide DDT. Now, thanks to environmental protections, Ospreys are raising families along the Bay shoreline. Nature can be so resilient—but it’s up to us to give it a chance.”

The number of Osprey nests alongside San Francisco Bay is growing. While Ospreys weren’t known to nest alongside the Bay before the early 2000s, by 2016 volunteers documented 37 active nests that produced 51 fledglings. Last year, they found 51 active nests with 99 fledglings.

Golden Gate Audubon launched its live video stream in 2017, bringing over 70,000 viewers to a nest 75 feet above the ground on a decommissioned World War 2 maritime crane in Richmond, next to the Red Oak Victory Museum ship and near the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park. Each year since then, the adult Osprey pair have returned to raise chicks together.

Rosie and pipping eggRosie tends nest while first egg starts to hatch Rose and Richmond on the nestRosie and Richmond on the nest Hatch graphicGraphic by nest cam volunteer Craig Griffeath showing expected hatch date of third egg, based omn observations of the past four years

This year the pair has taken turns sitting on the nest since March 24, when the first egg was laid. Once the chicks have hatched, Rosie will spend nearly all her time at the nest and Richmond will bring fish to feed her and the young.

Ospreys are fierce fish eaters with adult wing spans of up to six feet. Newly hatched chicks weigh less than two ounces and have a wingspan of about three inches.

Over the past four years, nest cam followers created descriptive (though not scientific) names for the life stages of Osprey chicks—starting out as “bobbleheads,” then “dinosaur phase,” “feathers growing in,” “wingercizing,” “hovering above the nest,” and finally, fledging. …

Join our Climate Watch program

What’s even better than watching birds? Knowing you’ve done something meaningful to protect them. That’s why Golden Gate Audubon Society is joining other chapters across the country for the upcoming season of National Audubon’s Climate Watch.

White-breasted Nuthatch by Joseph MahoneyWhite-breasted Nuthatch by Joseph Mahoney

As the impacts of climate change continue to unfold, nearly two-thirds of all North American bird species could struggle to adapt. When you participate in Climate Watch, Audubon’s newest community-science project, you’ll give Audubon scientists vital data on how birds are faring now—which guides our most effective conservation work to help them adapt.

The next season of Climate Watch runs from May 15th to June 15th, so we’re recruiting our participants and mapping our survey routes over the next two weeks.

If you can identify Western Bluebirds, Spotted Towhees, Lesser or American Goldfinches, or White-breasted, Red-breasted, or Pygmy Nuthatches by sight and sound — or if you’re eager to learn — we invite you to put your bird knowledge to use and help us document how these species are already responding to climate change in the Bay Area.

For birders who need some help identifying any of the species we’ll be surveying, we’ll provide instructional videos. Depending on the number of participants, we may be able to pair you up with a more experienced birder to teach you all you need to know.

You can find a brief video about Climate Watch here.

Contact Climate Watch local coordinator, David Robinson (dvdrobinson@gmail.com), for more information on how to take part. Whatever your level of birding expertise, you can help Golden Gate Audubon play an important part in protecting Bay Area birds and the places they need.…

Spring 2021 Gull is now online

Gull cover - spring 2021The spring 2021 issue of our quarterly Gull newsletter is now available online, with stories on Birdathon 2021, our Plants for Birds initiative, and GGAS’s dedicated volunteers. Also upcoming guest speakers and a feature on American Avocets, just as their white plumage starts to turn orange for breeding season!

To download and read this new issue of The Gull, click here.

P.S. If you’re a GGAS member who receives the printed edition of The Gull by mail but would like to switch to online delivery by email, contact our office at ggas@goldengateaudubon.org. This saves postage and paper.…