birding Archive

A field guide to my first field guide April 18, 2017

Posted by GGAS in Birding. Tags: Allen Fish, birding, Chandler Robbins, field guides.

By Allen Fish

Chandler Robbins died last month.  He would have been 100 years old this July 17th. Never as famous as Roger Tory Peterson or David Sibley, Chandler Robbins made some of the most important contributions to bird research and conservation in the 20th century.

He conducted some of the earliest research on DDT, contributing to Rachel Carson’s crusade; he pioneered the U.S. Breeding Bird Survey, a system of point counts designed to capture

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Teaching Birding to Beginners January 8, 2017

Posted by GGAS in Birding, Golden Gate Audubon. Tags: Beginning Birdwatching, birding, birding classes, birdwatching, teaching birding.

By Anne Hoff

“Oh, it’s beautiful!,” says the forty-something human, awestruck by the California Scrub-Jay.

“I see it! I see it!’” says the white-haired, cane-wielding human, looking at a Green Heron at Lake Merritt.

“There goes my free time,” moans a Millennial in the back row upon being introduced to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.

I love teaching my Beginning Birdwatching and Advanced Beginning Birding classes for Golden…

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New Bird Biology text is worth the wait November 15, 2016

Posted by GGAS in Birding, Reviews. Tags: bird books, birding, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Handbook of Bird Biology.

By Bob Lewis

In 2004, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology published the second edition of its Handbook of Bird Biology, a hefty volume of 11 chapters. It was in black and white, and Cornell offered a companion mail order course that seemed tempting to some at Golden Gate Audubon Society, but at the same time appeared daunting. Della Dash suggested we assemble a study group, and I ended up leading two year-long groups of future bird biologists as we strove to qualify…

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Fall birding in Gambell, Alaska October 11, 2016

Posted by GGAS in Birding, International Birding. Tags: Alaska birding, Alaska birds, birding, birding travel, Gambell, St. Lawrence Island.

By Anne Hoff

Sitting on a plastic mat on a pebble beach, the wind blowing at 30 miles per hour from the north, I join a line of thirty warmly bundled birders watching the wild Bering Sea. A slight windbreak is provided by the line of all-terrain vehicles along the flat ridge of the beach behind us. Though the temp is 40 Fahrenheit, it’s cold!

Thus begins a birding day at the Siberian Yupik village of Gambell on the Northwest Cape of treeless St. Lawrence Island,…

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Point Isabel: Birding Hotspot October 4, 2016

Posted by GGAS in Birding, Birding Hotspots. Tags: birding, Birding hotspots, East Bay Birding, East Bay Regional Park District, Hoffman Marsh, Meeker Slough, Point Isabel, Ridgway's Rail.

By Jess Beebe

Most people think of Point Isabel primarily as a dog park, and indeed it features one of the largest and most scenic off-leash dog areas anywhere. But this park is also the gateway to a premier birding destination, offering access to a delightful stretch of the San Francisco Bay Trail that meanders through a restored salt marsh and slough and past expansive mudflats.

Tires, shopping carts, and chunks of concrete remind us that this place –…

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Birding While Black September 28, 2016

Posted by GGAS in Birding. Tags: African-Americans, birders of color, birding, J. Drew Lanham, The Home Place.

Editor’s Note: Some people go birding to escape from the stresses of daily life. For birders of color, those stresses often continue into the field. This timely and compelling essay is excerpted with permission from J. Drew Lanham’s new book, THE HOME PLACE: MEMOIRS OF A COLORED MAN’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH NATURE.

By J. Drew Lanham

It’s only 9:06 a.m. and I think I might get hanged today.

* * * *

The job I volunteered for was to record every …

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Crissy Lagoon: Birding Hotspot September 20, 2016

Posted by GGAS in Birding, Birding Hotspots. Tags: birding, Birding hotspots, Crissy Field, Crissy Lagoon, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Presidio, San Francisco birding.

By David Assmann

Crissy Field Lagoon at dawn on a sunny day is the epitome of tranquility – herons and egrets feeding in a pristine lagoon with the Golden Gate Bridge perched majestically in the background. Seeing this birding jewel today, it can be hard to visualize its many previous incarnations, which included time as a military installation, a livestock display area, and a hazardous waste dump.

Prior to the arrival of Spanish settlers in 1776,…

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