Speaker Series

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.

Please note the new, EARLIER start time for our speaker programs in 2017! Doors open for refreshments at 6:30 p.m. and the speaker will start promptly at 7 p.m.


Least Tern on eggs in Alameda, viewed through protective fencing during annual Return of the Terns bus tour/ Photo by Darlene McNulty

Least Terns in Alameda

Susan Euing
Berkeley: Thursday, May 18
6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7 p.m. program


California Least Terns – an endangered species weighing under 1.6 ounces – have nested on the tarmac of the former Alameda Naval Air Station for over 40 years. Managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and now owned by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, this has become the most productive Least Tern breeding colony on the West Coast.

Susan Euing is the USFWS biologist who manages the Alameda Least Tern colony. She will share fascinating information about these amazing birds and the surprisingly uplifting history of how Golden Gate Audubon’s citizen scientists and volunteers have aided in the decades-long recovery effort.



Egrets and more at Audubon Canyon Ranch

John P. Kelly
San Francisco: Thursday, June 15
6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7 p.m. program

Great Egret by Keith Carver.

A century ago, herons and egrets were rare in the San Francisco Bay area. Now, after a long recovery from intensive hunting and habitat loss, these elegant birds have become symbols of wetland health and conservation. We’ll take a fascinating look into the lives of herons and egrets, with insights from ongoing studies at Audubon Canyon Ranch on the conservation of wetland landscapes, the effects of climate change, and the protection of heronries. In addition, John will share recent work on shorebird responses to tidal marsh restoration in Tomales Bay and the dependence of wintering water birds on Pacific herring spawning.

John Kelly has been studying heron and egrets throughout the Bay Area for nearly 30 years. As ACR’s Director of Conservation Science, he manages ACR’s Cypress Grove Research Center on Tomales Bay, works on local and regional conservation issues, and serves as scientific advisor for a variety of conservation agencies. His scientific work focuses on the habitat relationships, population ecology, and behaviors of coastal and estuarine birds.