birds Archive

Do birds love? (an ongoing argument) February 13, 2017

Posted by GGAS in Birding. Tags: bird behavior, birds, courtship, love birds.

By Joe Galkowski

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day we celebrate romantic love, so I thought I would pose the question, “Do birds love?”

Scientists will say this question has been definitively answered with a big “no.” There are other scientists, however, who are just as sure it is “yes.” The argument is ongoing. They have, in trying to prove the other side wrong, gathered a bunch of interesting facts and…

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What birds do in the rain December 21, 2014

Posted by GGAS in Birding. Tags: Bay Nature, birds, birds and rain.

Bay Nature magazine recently ran an online column on what birds do in the rain, by San Francisco consulting naturalist Josiah Clark. We liked it so much that we’re reprinting it! (With permission of course.)

By Josiah Clark

The sea gives birth to the storm and it’s the seabirds that feel it first. With instincts any sailor would envy, seabirds sense and flee from the storm front, often arriving in numbers days before the weather makes landfall.…

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Bird Tongues December 17, 2014

Posted by GGAS in Birding. Tags: bird anatomy, bird morphology, bird tongues, birds, ornithology.

By Nancy Johnston

Birders quickly learn to use bird bills to help identify species. Bird tongues, if we could easily see them, would also be helpful in identifying species. This blog is to whet your tongue about bird tongues and highlight the diversity that evolution has brought to avian tongues.

First, most birds have pretty prosaic tongues. They look somewhat similar to ours but can have some interesting extra features. As shown in Figure 1, the tips …

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A birdy Valentine’s Day from GGAS! February 13, 2014

Posted by GGAS in Birding. Tags: birds, courtship, pairs, romance, Valentine's Day.

By Ilana DeBare

Which pair of birds best sums up YOUR relationship(s)?

“Sometimes I feel like we’re talking past each other.”

Black Oystercatchers by Ethan Winning


“I’m head over heels for you.”

Bushtits by Ethan Winning


“Honey, are we there yet?”

Ross’ Geese by Rick Lewis


“Is that just a breeding bump or are you happy to see me?”

White Pelicans by Lee Aurich

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Artist & birder & conservationist November 10, 2013

Posted by Ilana DeBare in Birding, Conservation, International Birding. Tags: bird art, birds, David Tomb, Jeepney Projects Worldwide, Philippine Eagle, Tufted Jay.

By Ilana DeBare

David Tomb’s two childhood loves were art and birds. As an adult, he’s brought them together — in a way that supports international bird conservation.

Tomb — a San Francisco painter and collage artist — currently has a show at the San Francisco Public Library focusing on endangered birds of the Philippines, including the majestic Philippine Eagle.

It’s part of an initiative to showcase endangered…

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Burrowing Owl docents expand beyond Berkeley October 17, 2013

Posted by GGAS in Conservation, Golden Gate Audubon. Tags: Bay Area birds, Berkeley wildlife, birding, birds, Burrowing Owl, Burrowing Owl Docent Program, Cesar Chavez Park, Golden Gate Audubon Society, owls.

By Frances Dupont

The Burrowing Owls are back!

And this year, Golden Gate Audubon is expanding its Burrowing Owl docent program beyond Berkeley to cover a 30-mile stretch of the East Bay – from Point Pinole to Hayward.

Over 30 enthusiastic volunteers attended the annual Burrowing Owl Docent Training Workshop at the Shorebird Nature Center in the Berkeley Marina on Sept. 28.  GGAS now has twenty new docents and 19 experienced docents to cover the expanded…

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How birds adapt to traffic September 8, 2013

Posted by admin in Birding. Tags: bird adaptation, birds, birds and traffic, Charles Brown, ornithology, Pierre Lagagneux.

By Jack Dumbacher

We know that birds have been adapting to life in human landscapes. They change their songs to stand out against the urban background din,  they sing at times of day when they are more likely to be heard over our noise, and several recent studies have shown that they have been adapting to avoid traffic hazards.

Some 80 million birds are estimated to die each year on American roads, and two groups of avian biologists took observations from…

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