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Birdathon 2017 Field Trips

Support Golden Gate Audubon Society and Bay Area birds by taking part in a Birdathon Field Trip during April 2017! Your participation will help us reach our goal of $60,000 for our conservation and environmental education programs. 

It’s fun and easy.  There are two steps to the process:

(1) Choose from the exciting Birdathon Field Trips guided by our expert leaders, listed below. Register for the trip(s) of your choice.

(2) Then create a personal Fundraising Web Page that will allow friends and family members to sponsor you.  It’s like asking people to support you in a walkathon … only you’ll be spending time amidst the birds of our beautiful Bay Area! Once you sign up for a trip, you will get instructions on how to set up your fundraising page. 

Please set your sights high with fundraising! If 120 of us each raise $500, we will reach our goal. Plus… if you raise $100 or more, you will receive a complimentary organic cotton t-shirt with the Birdathon 2017 Least Tern logo. If you raise $500, you get free admission to the Birdathon Awards Celebration! More information on how to sign up is at the bottom of this page.

 

All our Birdathon 2017 trips are either over or full! But you’re  still warmly invited to attend the Birdathjon Awards Celebration on Saturday, May 13, from 3 to 6 p.m. Click here for details and sign-up. Registration deadline is May 2. 

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New! Pre-Birdathon Fundraising Training and Bird Walk with Bob Lewis

Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont
Sunday, March 12, 9 a.m. to noon

Bob Lewis and Ilana DeBare

Celebrate Golden Gate Audubon’s Centennial by helping us reach our Birdathon fundraising goal! If you’ve never tried fundraising before… or if you’re nervous about it… we can help. GGAS Communications Director Ilana DeBare will provide a one-hour orientation session that will leave you confident and excited to start your Birdathon fundraising. As a sign of our appreciation, start the morning with a two-hour bird walk by GGAS birding instructor Bob Lewis at fabulous Coyote Hills Regional Park.

This event is limited to people who are planning to do Birdathon fundraising.

Click here to register.

Allen's Hummingbird by Jerry Ting

Allen’s Hummingbird by Jerry Ting

Better Birding in the City

SF Botanical Garden, San Francisco
Saturday, April 1, 8:15 — 10:30 a.m.
Allan Ridley and Helen McKenna

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced birder, there’s always room to learn more! Hone your observational skills and bird the most beautiful garden of the City. Besides exploring the S.F. Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park and seeing birds in a variety of settings, we will help you plan to visit the best birding locations in San Francisco. Some species we may find are  returning Allen’s Hummingbirds, Brown Creepers, Downy Woodpeckers, and Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks.

Logistics: Meet at the Front Gate to the Botanical Garden, near the corner of Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way. Limited to 15 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $50. But can you aim to raise $500?

Click here to sign up.

Golden Eagle at Skaggs Island by George Eade

Golden Eagle at Skaggs Island by George Eade

Raptors at Skaggs Island

Saturday, April 1, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Anne Ardillo and George Eade

This trip is now FULLWe hope you’ll choose one of our other great Birdathon trips! You can also register to be on a waiting list for this trip in case of cancellations.

Voyage beyond the locked gates of Skaggs Island to learn about its many raptors — eagles, hawks, owls, kites, falcons and more. A former naval base, now a part of the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge in the North Bay, Skaggs island is a favored habitat for many birds, especially raptors. 

Anne Ardillo teaches raptor classes for Golden Gate Audubon. George Eade has surveyed raptors at Skaggs Island for over 7 years and reports to the USF&W and the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.

Logistics: Meet at the south entrance to Skaggs Island on Highway 37 at 11 a.m. We’ll drive into the refuge, then consolidate cars and carpool through the refuge. There are no restrooms inside the refuge and gates are locked once we’re in, so participants must be able to stay for the full four hours. The tour will drive to various spots, getting out of our cars to look around. Very little walking. Bring lunch and water. Limited to 20 people. Please plan to be on time since the property is locked.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $50. But can you aim to raise $500?

Click here to sign up.

 

Photo by Bob Lewis

Photo by Bob Lewis

Birding the Peninsula with Murphy’s MOB

Sunday, April 2, 7:45 a.m. to lunchtime
Dan and Joan Murphy
 

The Peninsula’s shoreline offers some of the richest bird habitats on San Francisco Bay. Join Murphy’s MOB (Multiple Observers) to take advantage of the beginning of shorebird migration, as we pick up many migrants. We’ll start at Shoreline Park in Mountain View, then head north to Foster City and Sneath Lane. Beginners welcome. Limited to 25 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $25. But you can aim to raise $500 or more?

Click here to sign up.

CalAcademyof Science

Cal Academy collection

Behind the Scenes at the Academy

Thursday, April 6, 6:30 to 8 p.m. (with option to stay later)
Jack Dumbacher, Director of Mammals and Ornithology

This trip is now FULLWe hope you’ll choose one of our other great Birdathon trips! You can also register to be on a waiting list for this trip in case of cancellations.

Enjoy a private tour of the world renowned bird collection at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Ornithology Director Jack Dumbacher will guide you through the collection of 100,000 bird specimens dating back to the 1800s. Afterwards, enjoy free admission to the Academy’s monthly Night Life event, including a demonstration of preparing a bird to be a museum specimen. Must be age 21 or over. Limited to 12 people.

Logistics: Participants will be contacted and told where to meet. Parking on the street in Golden Gate Park. Limited to 12 people. Participants must be age 21 or over, since the Night Life event offers alcohol.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $100. But can you aim to raise $500 or more?

Click here to sign up for the waiting list.

Birding the Island of Alameda

Photo by Peter Seubert

Photo by Peter Seubert

Saturday April 8, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Chris and Gary Bard

With shoreline all around it, Alameda offers some of the Bay Area’s best birding. How many species will we find as we tour the island? We’ll look for nesting Peregrine Falcons, Black Oystercatchers, and shorebirds in breeding plumage ready for their migrations north.

Logistics: Drive to the south end of Park Street in Alameda.  Turn right on Shoreline Dr. and turn right immediately on the next street toward shopping center.  Meet on the left in the parking area across the street from the car wash. We’ll carpool from there to various locations. Please bring a scope if you have one, water, and a snack. Limited to 16 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $50. But you can aim to raise $500 or more?

Click here to sign up.

 

Photo by David Assmann

Photo by David Assmann

Birding San Francisco with Murphy’s Mob

Saturday, April 8, 7:15 a.m. until lunchtime
Dan and Joan Murphy 

Join Murphy’s MOB (Multiple Observers) for a fun, fast-paced tour of San Francisco’s best birding spots, starting at the Presidio and continuing on to Land’s End and Seal Rocks, Golden Gate Park, and Lake Merced. If you haven’t birded much in The City before, this is a great introduction led by a founder of the San Francisco Christmas Bird Count. Limited to 25 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $25. But you can aim to raise $500 or more?

Click here to sign up.

 

Photo by Ilana DeBare

Photo by Ilana DeBare

California Condors at the Pinnacles

Saturday, April 8, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rusty Scalf

This trip is now FULLWe hope you’ll choose one of our other great Birdathon trips! You can also register to be on a waiting list for this trip in case of cancellations.

The California Condor, North America’s largest land bird, became extinct in the wild in 1987 – but thanks to dedicated work by conservationists has been reintroduced to a few key habitats including Pinnacles National Park. We’ll join Richard Neidhardt, a condor expert who spends ten-hour days radio-tracking these endangered birds and knows the life stories of the Pinnacles’ individual condors. Limited to 12 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $100, which includes a contribution to the Pinnacles Partnership to protect condors. But you can aim to raise $500 or more?

Click here to sign up.

 

Photo by Ilana DeBare

Photo by Ilana DeBare

Birds and Wine in the Livermore Valley

Sunday, April 9, 7:30 a.m. to approximately 5 p.m.
Bruce Mast

With more than 40 wineries in a 17-mile radius, the Livermore Valley offers an array of palate-pleasing wine tasting options, right here in our own backyard. Meanwhile the Diablo Range offers some of the best birding in the East Bay. Join us for the best of both worlds!

We’ll bird along Mines Road in the morning, then stop for a gourmet picnic lunch and private tasting at Charles R Vineyard, a family-run boutique winery a bit off the beaten path. More birding in the afternoon. Transportation is provided so you can relax, enjoy as much wine as you want, and focus on the birds and beautiful spring wine country scenery.

We’ll be on the lookout for hawks and eagles, returning neotropical migrants, and back-country specialties such as magpies and Phainopepla.

Logistics: Vehicles will leave from a central location in Oakland, although you are also welcome to meet us in Livermore Valley. Because this Birdathon trip includes special amenities such as breakfast and lunch, wine tastings, and transportation, there is a minimum donation of $300, of which $150 is tax-deductible. If you donate more than $300, any additional amount over $300 is also tax-deductible. Limited to 10 people, age 21 or over.

Click here to sign up. 

 

Photo by Jerry Ting

Photo by Jerry Ting

Big Six Hours in Alameda County

Sunday, April 9, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Bob Power 

Join last year’s Big Six Birdathon winner for a a whirlwind tour of riparian corridors and bayside haunts, looking for incoming and north-bound migrants. Last year Bob’s group found 115 species in six hours!  Possible targets include Black-headed Grosbeak, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, and Red Knot. Be prepared to carpool. Limited to 11 people.

Click here to sign up.

 

Photo by Jerry Ting

Photo by Jerry Ting

Birding By Ear in Tilden Park – Dawn Chorus

Sunday, April 9, 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Denise Wight

This trip is now FULL. Please choose one of our other great Birdathon trips! Or you can register to be on a waiting list for this trip in case of cancellations.

Popular birding-by-ear instructor Denise Wight will lead you on an early morning hike through the rich habitat around Vollmer Peak in Tilden Park, when birds are most active and vocal. Her expert instruction will help you identify the many songs and calls. Limited to 10 people. (NOTE: Please sign up for only ONE of Denise’s Birdathon trips to leave room for others!)

Fundraising/donation minimum: $75. But can you aim to raise $500?

Click here to sign up on the waiting list..

 

Photo by Jerry Ting

Photo by Jerry Ting

Birding By Ear in Tilden Park – Mid-morning

Sunday, April 9, 9 a.m. to noon
Denise Wight

This trip is now FULL. Please choose one of our other great Birdathon trips! Or you can register to be on a waiting list for this trip in case of cancellations.

Yes, you can sleep in and still enjoy the beauty of bird song! Birding-by-ear instructor Denise Wight will lead you on a mid-morning hike around Vollmer Peak in Tilden Park. Her expert instruction will help you identify the many songs and calls. Limited to 10 people. (NOTE: Please sign up for only ONE of Denise’s Birdathon trips to leave room for others!)

Fundraising/donation minimum: $75. But can you aim to raise $500?

Click here to sign up for the waiting list.

 

Red-shouldered Hawk at Crissy Lagoon

Red-shouldered Hawk at Crissy Lagoon / Photo by David Assmann

Best of the Presidio

Saturday, April 15, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Alan Hopkins

This trip is now FULLWe hope you’ll choose one of our other great Birdathon trips! You can also register to be on a waiting list for this trip in case of cancellations.

Experience the full range of bird life in America’s most scenic urban national park! We’ll start at Battery Godfrey scoping the rocks for oystercatchers, Surfbirds and turnstones, and the ocean for scoters, grebes and cormorants. Then we’ll move on to the bluffs, the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, and Fort Scott. Expect to see about 75 species on this all-walking trip, including migrants like Olive-sided Flycatchers and year-round residents like Peregrine Falcons. 

Fundraising/donation minimum: $50. But can you aim to raise $500 or more?

Click here to sign up.

 

Mmm!

Mmm!

Birds and Chocolate in Alameda

Saturday, April 15, 2 to 5 p.m.
Joyce Mercado and Sharon Nelson-Embry

Discover some of the finest luxury chocolates in the world, many made locally in the Bay Area. Choose your favorites in blind tastings while you learn about rainforest ecosystems, conservation issues, and how our love of chocolate can impact wildlife for better or worse. After your delicious tasting, visit the nearby Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary to view shorebirds and waterbirds, guided by retired Crab Cover Supervising Naturalist Sharol Nelson-Embry. Limited to 15 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $50. But can you aim to raise $500 or more?

Click here to sign up.

 

Pixar's Piper

Pixar’s Piper

The Plovers of Pixar

Tuesday, April 18, 4 to 6 p.m.
Ilana DeBare & Pixar staff

As of February 10: This trip is sold out. We hope you’ll choose one of our other great Birdathon trips! You can also register to be on a waiting list for this trip in case of cancellations.
Get an insider’s view of the art and science behind Piper, the charming shorebird chick who starred in the recent animated short film by Pixar. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the renowned Emeryville animation studio, followed by a private screening of Piper and a Q&A with the director and animator Alan Barillaro. Learn how Pixar researched plovers and their shoreline habitat, and translated bird movements into delightful animation. Limited to 12 people, ages 12 and over.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $150. But can you aim to raise $500 or more?

Click here to sign up.

 

 

Photo by Bob Lewis

Photo by Bob Lewis

Spring Birding at Point Reyes – two options!

Saturday, April 22, 8 a.m. until noon OR
Sunday, April 23, 8 a.m. until noon
Rusty Scalf

Both these trips are now full. 

Springtime is beautiful at Point Reyes. This gentle five-mile hike will take you through lush riparian habitat with Virginia Rails and Wilson’s Warblers, grassland with Savannah Sparrows and Northern Harriers, chaparral with Wrentits, and sand dunes with late-migrant shorebirds and Red-necked Grebes. Along the way, enjoy wildflowers and ocean views! Extensive stands of pure Ceanothus are a specialty here. Limited to 12 people.

Logistics: Participants need to bring lunch and be able to walk five miles. Limited to 12 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $50. But can you aim to raise $500?

Click here to sign up for the waiting list for the Saturday trip.

Click here to sign up for the waiting list for the Sunday trip.

 

Photo by Ilana DeBare

Photo by Ilana DeBare

146 (!) Birds in a Day in the East Bay Parks

Saturday, April 22, dawn to dusk
Dave Riensche 

Join this quest for 146 Birds in a Day… all within lands of the East Bay Regional Park District! Led by EBRPD Wildlife Biologist Dave “Doc Quack” Riensche, you will get nose-to-beak with numerous birds while visiting several active bird research and rehabilitation sites.This dawn-to-dusk adventure will include walking and car caravaning to several locations looking for particular species.

NOTE: A portion of all contributions generated from this Birdathon Trip will support EBRPD’s habitat enhancement for endangered California Least Terns and threatened Western Snowy Plovers. Trip will likely start before dawn in Del Valle Regional Park, and travel west toward the bay.  Limited to 10 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $100, some of which will benefit Least Tern and Snowy Plover conservation in East Bay Regional Parks. But you can aim to raise $500 or more?

Click here to sign up.

 

Photo by Ilana DeBare

Big Six Hours in Oakland

Sunday, April 23, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Glen Tepke

Two years ago Glen’s team spotted 104 species in six hours in Oakland… and that was in pouring rain! Help them beat that number this year, hopefully with help from the sun. If you’ve never tried competitive birding, this is a fun and friendly way to start. Still not sure? Read about Glen’s 2013 Birdathon trip in Oakland magazine! Limited to 8 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $50. But can you aim to raise $500?

Click here to sign up.

 

Big Six Hours in Contra Costa

Sunday, April 23, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Bruce Mast

Contra Costa offers a striking diversity of habitats, from the arid chaparral and oak savannah of Mount Diablo to marshes, grasslands and the San Francisco Bay. We’ll explore much of this diversity in a fast-paced attempt to show or  Alameda County friends which county rules.

Logistics will be provided to registered participants. Carpooling can be arranged if interested. The first stop involves occasionally brisk walking for 3 miles in rolling terrain. The remaining stops involve car birding and short walks. Limited to 11 participants.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $50. But you can aim to raise $500 or more?

Click here to sign up.

 

IBR3_InternationalBirdRescue

Int’l Bird Rescue

Behind the Scenes at International Bird Rescue

Saturday, April 29, 10:30 to mid-to-late afternoon
Cindy Margulis, Golden Gate Audubon Executive Director 

This trip is now full! Please choose another great Birdathon trip. Or sign up below to be on the waiting list in case of cancellations.

International Bird Rescue is the world’s leading rehabilitator of wild aquatic birds, celebrating its 46th anniversary this spring.  Discover what makes them so special, and help raise crucial funds to support both IBR and GGAS by participating in this fascinating Birdathon trip.  We’ll tour their specialized facilities and meet experts in waterbird care. Afterwards, we’ll caravan in our cars to enjoy some great birding at a surprise destination. Limited to 12 people.

Logistics: Meet around 10:30 a.m. in Fairfield. Bring a lunch.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $125, which includes a contribution to benefit IBR.  But can you aim to raise $500 or more?  Give social fundraising a try: it will maximize your help for both GGAS and IBR! We can provide tips and help.

Registration is now closed for this trip.

 

 

sfbbo_yellowarbler

Yellow Warbler at SFBBO

Bird Banding with S.F. Bay Bird Observatory

Saturday, April 29, 8 to 10 a.m.
Coyote Creek Field Station, Milpitas
Pamela Llewellyn

Biologists and citizen scientists have banded birds at SFBBO’s Coyote Creek Field Station for 30 years, studying migration and habitat restoration.  During our visit, you’ll tour a riparian restoration area, watch mist nets being used to catch birds, learn about the tools used in banding, and view at least one wild bird up close and personal after it is banded.

Logistics: Meet at the Milpitas Mccarthy Ranch Shopping Center in the McDonald’s parking lot (at Highways 237 and 880). We’ll consolidate cars if possible and caravan to the station area a few minutes away. Wear good walking shoes and bring water. Arrive promptly since the gates are locked and latecomers will miss the banding demo. Limited to 30 people. (Don’t worry, you’ll be divided into groups of 15 for optimal viewing.)

Suggested fundraising/donation minimum: $50, which includes a contribution to SFBBO. But any amount over $10 is welcome.

Registration is now closed for this trip.

 

Bald Eagles nest at Stevens Creek Reservoir

Bald Eagles nest at Stevens Creek Reservoir

Insider’s Guide to South Bay Birding

Sunday, April 30, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ralph Schardt

Experience the best birding in the South Bay with someone who really knows — the Executive Director of Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society! Ralph will guide you through his personal favorite birding sites, starting with the nature preserve next to the SCVAS office, where riparian habitat attracts Wood Ducks, mergansers and warblers. Continue on to Stevens Creek Reservoir, home to Bald Eagles and Ospreys. If there’s time, end up at Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve for shorebirds in breeding plumage.

Logistics:  Meet at Santa Clara Valley Audubon office, 22221 McClellan Road in Cupertino. Limited to 15 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $50. But can you aim to raise $500?

Click here to sign up.

 

Photo by Bob Lewis

Photo by Bob Lewis

Behind the Gates at Hayward Shoreline

Sunday, May 7, 8:45 to 11:45 a.m.
Bob Lewis

View nesting colonies of Forster’s Terns and endangered California Least Terns in a part of Hayward Regional Shoreline that’s off-limits to the general public. Along with the terns, you should see Black-necked Stilts, American Avocets, baby Marsh Wrens, and perhaps Red-necked Phalaropes and Black Skimmers.

Logistics: Meet at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center off of Highway 92. This trip involves three miles of walking on flat, unpaved trails. Limited to 15 people.

Fundraising/donation minimum: $50. But can you aim to raise $500?

Click here to sign up.

 

Greater Yellowlegs by Lee Friedman

Greater Yellowlegs by Lee Friedman

Create Your Own Birdathon Trip

Anytime in April

Create your own birding event any time during April. Compete for the most birds sighted in six hours or 24 hours, or just go out and have fun. Do it alone or recruit a group of friends!

Click here to create a personal fundraising page about your Birdathon trip. Input a description of your trip. Once you’ve done that, friends can sponsor you by donating on your page. Or if they want to join your trip, they can either donate on your page or create their own fundraising page (they can click the “Create a Page” button on your page).

If you have questions about creating your own trip, email Ilana at idebare@goldengateaudubon.org. Planning a competitive trip? Click here for the Birdathon Competition Rules. To be considered in the competition, you must (a) Raise or donate money to Birdathon, and (b) Submit your results to Ilana in the GGAS office by May 1, 2017.

 

 


 

How to sign up and raise money

There are two steps to signing up for Birdathon.

1. Click on a trip to sign up for that particular trip. After you sign up for the trip, you will receive an email with instructions about how to create your personal Fundraising Web Page.

2. Create your Fundraising Web Page. Follow the steps in the email or click here to log in and create your page.  You will be asked to set a fundraising goal for yourself, such as $100 or $250 or $1000. Be ambitious — it will inspire your donors! You will also have a chance to add a few sentences about why Bay Area birds and Golden Gate Audubon are important to you. If you’d like, you can also upload a photo of yourself, a favorite bird etc. You only need to create one Fundraising Page even if you sign up for more than one trip.

Once you’ve signed up for a trip and created your Fundraising Page, you’re ready to go! Share your page with friends, and tell them why GGAS and birds are close to your heart. Click here for some tips about how to fundraise for Birdathon! Truly — it’s not as scary as it sounds. 🙂

Need help signing up for a trip or creating a Fundraising Page?  Email Ilana at idebare@goldengateaudubon.org.

 

Want to make a donation yourself in addition to fundraising? You can donate through your Fundraising Page or click here to make a general donation to Birdathon.

Everyone who raises $100 or more will receive a free Birdathon 2017 t-shirt with our Least Tern logo. People who raise $500 will receive a free ticket to the Birdathon Awards Celebration on Saturday May 13. People who raise $1000 receive two free tickets to the Birdathon Awards Celebration.  The top fundraisers will receive prizes such as overnight stays in top birding locations, and we have special prize for the top FIRST-TIME Birdathon fundraiser: See our Prizes page for details.

NOTE: It’s also an option to make your entire Birdathon contribution as a personal donation, rather than through fundraising. But we encourage you to try fundraising… it’s a way to maximize your impact, plus spread the word to your friends about Audubon and birding!

 

Trip Logistics:

A week or two before your trip, you will be contacted by email with details such as where to meet. If you have general questions about Birdathon, contact Ilana at idebare@goldengateaudubon.org.

 

Links:

Return to the Main Birdathon Page

List of Birdathon Fundraisers (Participants) — find your page or a friend’s page

Create Your Personal Fundraising Page

Birdathon Awards Celebration

Birdathon 2017 Fundraising Prizes

Fundraising Tips for Birdathon Participants

Birdathon 2017 Rules

Birdathon 2017 Trip List (Same info as on this page, but in PDF format for easy printing)