Berkeley parks

Birds of prey migrating by the thousands on ocean headlands – The Bloom

Hawks Over Golden Gate

The Redbud Audubon Society will host raptor expert Allen Fish on Thursday, September 15 at 7 p.m. on a Zoom program. Pre-registration is required and can be done by going to the website,, and clicking the link on the home page.

Fish is a bird biologist, writer, teacher, and community science expert who has directed the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO) since 1985. The GGRO is a program of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in cooperation with the National Parks Service, which operates the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, located in parts of San Francisco and includes Hawk Hill on the Marin Headlands.

From August to December each year large numbers of hawks, kites, eagles, falcons, osprey, vultures and harriers pass through the Marin Headlands on their fall migration. This spectacular visible flight has been monitored and tracked by National Park Service volunteers since the early 1980s, under the auspices of the GGRO.

Join director Allen Fish for a “deep dive” into what GGRO and his colleagues have learned over four decades of counting, banding and tracking birds of prey. The fish will try to answer questions such as – “which raptor species have the most increasing population trends?” And: “Which species are of most concern to GGRO?”

The biologist will talk about the strangest raptor that has been seen at Hawk Hill, and what do merlins eat when migrating, and do we know? The impact of climate change on the Pacific raptor flyway will also be discussed as well as the greatest threats to California’s birds of prey.

Allen Fish taught raptor biology at UC Davis in the 2000s, and in 2022 was inducted into the Honorary Scholar Hall of Fame by Sonoma State University’s Biology Department. He lives in Berkeley with frequent migrations to the Marin Headlands and to Donner Pass.

The Redbud Audubon Society is Lake County’s oldest conservation organization. He hosts the Christmas Bird Count, organizes a fishing line drive to protect lake birds, oversees a Bluebird trail, and is active in many environmental issues in the county.

Allen fish picture
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