Birding Resources

The resources below provide information about Bay Area bird sightings and events such as the annual Christmas Bird Count. Also included are reports on bird populations and conservation initiatives related to Golden Gate Audubon projects.

Alameda County Breeding Bird Atlas

New for 2012!  Two hundred pages with listings of 173 Alameda County bird species and maps of the precise locations where they have been sighted. Produced by dozens of GGAS and Ohlone Audubon volunteers, edited by Bob Richmond, Helen Green and David Rice, and featuring thirty beautiful illustrations by Hans Peeters.  Stop by our Nature Store between 1 and 5PM weekdays to get a copy. $22, or $20 for members. Read the Berkeley Daily Planet review by Joe Eaton here.

Northern California Bird Box

Golden Gate Audubon sponsors the Northern California BirdBox – report rare bird sightings at (415) 681-7422.


Each issue of Golden Gate Audubon’s The Gull newsletter includes a feature that summarizes recent rare and unusual bird sightings in the Bay Area. The current Observations can be read here and in The Gull. Past Observations are found in previous Gull issues.

The Birds of Eastshore State Park

Golden Gate Audubon conducted a census of birdlife in the Eastshore State Park from October 2005 to September 2006, supported by the San Francisco Foundation and the California State Parks Foundation. An illustrated brochure with a map and a comprehensive checklist of the more than 140 species seen at the park is available from Golden Gate Audubon or the East Bay Regional Park District. You can also download the checklist and the shorebird and waterfowl density chart.

Birds of Northern California

This book, published by Golden Gate Audubon, contains useful information about the status and distribution of the birds found in the northern part of the state. Easy-to-read graphs illustrate the abundance of native species throughout the seasons. The volume, by Guy McCaskie, Paul De Benedictis, Richard Erickson, and Joe Morlan, was originally published in 1970, then was updated in 1988 and amended with additional material. This second edition is out of print,  but a limited number of copies are still available through the GGA Nature Store.

Inviting Wildlife into your Backyard

Download our brochure on inviting wildlife into your backyard for helpful hints:

Inviting Wildlife into Your Backyard brochure — SF edition [English]
Wildlife into Your Backyard brochure — East Bay edition (English)
Invita La Naturaleza a tu Jardin [Spanish]

Birds of Lands End

Check out the new bird list for Lands End! The Birds of Lands End brochure, with text and photos by Alan Hopkins, was created by the Golden Gate Nationals Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service as a resource for birders of all skill levels. The brochure includes a trail map of Lands End and Sutro Heights as well as a list (always growing!) of birds that have been seen along these trails. Please visit for more information about Lands End and how you can help us continue our restoration efforts—for the enjoyment of all—in this wonderful park site.

Christmas Bird Counts

The annual counts in Oakland and San Francisco are organized by Golden Gate Audubon. Birders of all levels are invited to participate. You can get more information here.

Audubon Canyon Ranch

Golden Gate Audubon, in concert with other Bay Area Audubon chapters, helped establish Audubon Canyon Ranch. ACR’s thousand-acre Bolinas Lagoon Preserve supports a major heronry of Great Blue Herons and Great and Snowy Egrets often numbering more than 100 pairs. Every spring, we provide volunteers to greet visitors who come to see the nesting herons and egrets. For more information on visiting or volunteering, go to

Golden Gate Audubon Bird Census Reports

These reports summarize data compiled by our volunteers working to support two of our local conservation projects.

  • Arrowhead Marsh at Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park. The report details the first five years of our bird census at the park’s Arrowhead Marsh and 72 acres of tidal and seasonal wetlands. The marsh and restored wetlands attract thousands of migratory and wintering shorebirds and waterfowl, and are also used by breeding birds.
  • Yosemite Slough Watershed Wildlife Survey. The survey, conducted in 2003–04, identified 118 species of birds, as well as other wildlife, that use Yosemite Creek watershed and Candlestick Point Recreation Area in the Bayview-Hunters Point community. The results showed the importance of restoring and revitalizing this industrial area for both wildlife and the community.
  • East Shore State Park Census Report.

Golden Gate Audubon and SFBBO Partner on San Francisco Waterfront Survey

This past summer, GGA volunteers partnered with volunteers from the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory to survey bird use of dilapidated piers along San Francisco’s southeastern waterfront. Read the full report here.

Hunters Point Constructed Storm Water Wetland Feasibility Study

In 2004 Golden Gate Audubon, working with experts in the field, released a preliminary design for a wetland (download PDF) that would purify the storm water entering the bay at Hunters Point and provide valuable wildlife habitat. The wetland would be part of a park that includes Yosemite Creek (see wildlife survey above) and Candlestick Point State Recreation Area.