Every fall, 30,000 raptors and hawks migrate across the Bay Area in a fantastic display.Every fall, 30,000 raptors and hawks migrate across the Bay Area in a fantastic display. Most stop for a quick snack in the Marin Headlands before moving on to their winter homes. Bay Area scientists and volunteers have been using the opportunity to conduct counts, as raptors have long been seen as indicators for ecosystem health. The Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, now a program of the Golden Gate Parks Conservancy, was set up 25 years ago as the first bird monitoring system in California. Anyone that visits “Hawk Hill” during this time can attest to mass migration; Upwards of 1000 birds are seen per day during the peak. To my amazement, the observatory is almost fully run by volunteers; there are only 3 full time employees compared to over 300 volunteers. Clearly, this is one of the most successful citizen science projects in the Bay Area.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary, there are a number of interactive events and talks scheduled over the next month.
Where: Hawk Hill
When: Sat 9/12, Sun 9/13, Sat 9/19, Sun 9/20, Sat 9/26 12 Noon – 2 PM