Meet Our New Executive Director Glenn Phillips

Golden Gate Audubon Society is delighted to introduce our new Executive Director, Glenn Phillips.

Phillips, who grew up in the East Bay, brings a wealth of experience in bird conservation, urban nature education, and non-profit management. A lifelong birder, he was executive director of New York City Audubon for seven years. He is also the first openly gay executive director in GGAS’s 105-year history.

“We are fortunate to have someone as experienced as Glenn assuming the role of our new Executive Director,” said Eric Schroeder, President of the GGAS Board of Directors. “Glenn’s leadership and vision will help guide us towards our goal of creating North America’s most bird-friendly urban community.”

Having recently moved back to the Bay Area with his husband and two children, Phillips said he can’t imagine a better homecoming than his new role at GGAS.

Glen PhillipsGlenn Phillips, our new Executive Director

“As a kid growing up in the East Bay, the forests, chaparral, grasslands, and wetlands around the bay were my playgrounds, looking for wildflowers, reptiles, and birds,” he said. “When I moved to New York after college, my mother asked, ‘Why is my nature boy moving to New York City?’ After 30 years and stints at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park, and New York City Audubon, the Golden Gate has called me home.”

Over his seven years at New York City Audubon, Phillips grew its membership by 50 percent and increased its revenue from $650,000 to $1 million. Before working at Audubon, he served as vice president for education at the Prospect Park Alliance in Brooklyn and manager of programs at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. After his time at Audubon, he worked for the American Bird Conservancy, doing advocacy to prevent bird-building collisions.

Now—as the country starts to emerge from a year of Covid-19 lockdowns—the time is ripe for new leadership and ambitious new initiatives at GGAS.

“The pandemic opened so many new eyes to the wonder of birds in our own backyards,” Phillips said. “Now we have an opportunity to work together to make our neighborhoods better for both birds and people. We need to reduce our footprint on the planet, seek environmental justice for those who have borne the brunt of short-term thinking, and build a stronger, more diverse group of stakeholders committed to protecting birds and the remaining open spaces in our communities. In this era of #MeToo and #BlackLives Matter, we must also ensure that the birding community is safe and welcoming for all.”…

2019 Christmas Bird Count

It’s Christmas Bird Count season!

Our Oakland CBC will take place on Sunday, December 15, 2019. Our San Francisco CBC will take place on Friday, December 27, 2019.

Spend a fun day outdoors with a team counting individual birds and species, and contributing to our understanding of bird populations. Both beginners and experienced birders welcome. Then gather with all the other participants to share results at a warm, festive Compilation Dinner.

Click here for details, a history of the count, and registration links!

Can’t spend the day in the field? Take part in the count from the comfort of your home as a Feeder Watcher, counting the birds at your feeder or in your yard.

The deadline to sign up for the Oakland CBC is Friday, November 29. The deadline for the SF count is Friday, December 13.

Registered participants: You should hear from your area leader during the week before your count. If you haven’t heard from her or him by 24 hours of your count date, email Ilana at

News media: You’r invited to cover a count team in the field! Contact Ilana at or (510) 301-5573 to be connected with a team. Please contact us BEFORE count day if possible. since it will be hard tor each us on the day of the count.

Our Oakland count, now in its 79th year, mobilizes more people in the field than any other CBC in the world!

Click here for general information on the Christmas Bird Count, including information on the compilation dinner, volunteering, and being a Feeder Watcher.

Lunch break at Lake Temescal during 2015 Oakland count, by Ilana DeBareLunch break at Lake Temescal during 2015 Oakland count, by Ilana DeBare Brown Pelican viewed by the 2015 Point Isabel count team, by Alan KrakauerBrown Pelican viewed by the 2015 Point Isabel count team, by Alan Krakauer…

GGAS Online Auction

We’re having our first ever online auction and we want you to be a part of the fun. Over the next 5 weeks we’ll be offering private birding experiences and one-of-a-kind bird-themed jewelry, art, and clothing for your bidding pleasure. New items will be highlighted every week!

Enjoy a one hour ride aboard a rescue boat with TowBoatU.S. – San Francisco Bay & Delta!  Venture out with a veteran rescue skipper around Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge. Pull in for a short stop at Pier 39, and then be delivered back to your chosen port on the Central Bay! These highly skilled professional mariners boats that get into trouble in the Bay or Delta’s tricky waters. Bid high for this very special chance to ride with three friends aboard a working rescue vessel!  

Click HERE to place your bid


Have you ever wanted to go birding by air in a private plane?


Or experience a falconry demonstration up close and personal?

Photo by Jerry Ting


The first week features a private Birding by Ear field trip with Denise Wight.

Mark your calendars and don’t miss this opportunity to put in a winning bid on these and other great experiences!

For more information, a complete list of items, and links to bid go to

Spring 2019 Birding Classes

Field Photography Workshop with a Pro:
Wintering Raptors and more in Sierra Valley
February 23 and 24

Ferruginous Hawk by John Ehrenfeld

Spend a weekend with professional wildlife photographer John Ehrenfeld in the Sierra Valley. Target species include Rough-legged and Ferruginous Hawks, falcons, and eagles.

There are 25 eBird hotspots for Sierra Valley, which straddles Sierra and Plumas Counties.

Plan to spend all day Saturday and Sunday in the field. John will provide technical and creative advice for photographers and will lead a friendly critique session to review the day’s photographs on Saturday evening.

Two-night stays are required at all the lodging options in the area. A list of lodging suggestions will be sent to participants soon after they register.

The group will meet at the intersection of highways 89 and 49 at the Globe Hotel parking lot at 11 am on Saturday. Participants will stay over Saturday night and return to the field on Sunday morning. Carpooling is recommended.

The instructors website is http://www.johnehrenfeldphotography

Limited to 10 participants.

Fee is $250 for GGAS members and $300 for others. Accommodations and meals not included in the course fee.

Weather: Rain and fog can add ambiance to nature photography so we’ll address those challenges in the field like the pros do. Heavy snow forecast will cancel trip and it will be rescheduled.

No minimum standards for photo equipment, but a digital SLR with a minimum reach of a 300mm lens will be helpful.

Click HERE to register online. Once the class is full, you may register to be on a waiting list. Registration closes on Wednesday, February 20.

Birding by Ear – Early Spring
February 28 through April 6

Early Spring!  It’s a great time to learn bird sounds of our resident birds, as well as those of
returning migrants.  We will explore various techniques for learning how to identify the songs
and calls local birds, especially  the vocalizations of the species we hope to encounter on our
the field trips.  Field trip locations are listed on the instructor’s website

  • Six Thursday evening classes, February 28 to April 5; 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Six three-hour field trips on the Saturday following each class, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Instructor: Denise Wight
  • Limit to 20 participants
  • $110 for GGAS members, $130 for non-members
  • Location: Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, directly across the street from Ashby
    BART in Berkeley. Free parking in the lot behind the center.

Birdathon is Back

Birdathon is back and it's better than ever.