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Walking Activity WALK: Space is limited to 15 people. Free for members; $10 for non-members.
ACCESSIBLE: Please contact the Outreach and Education Director so that we can coordinate with you.
MEMBERS-ONLY ACTIVITY: Active SFBBO membership required to attend
   RSVP to outreach@sfbbo.org or 408-946-6548 x 10

California Scrub-Jay

American Avocet


Come out and explore with us!

Join San Francisco Bird Observatory staff and volunteers for a walk, a workshop, a special event, or a bird banding demonstration and learn about avian conservation in the Bay Area. Members and non-members welcome! Please BRING A FRIEND and help SFBBO grow our community! To support any of these activities, please consider making a donation to SFBBO today!

"Look Up" Campaign Activities - 2017

Saturday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017
2017 California Fall Challenge

Please join SFBBO’s 2017 California Fall Challenge (CFC) and help us raise $30,000 to support SFBBO science and outreach programs to conserve birds! From fundraising and bird photo contests to our Band-a-Thon to guided trips, there are many ways you can get involved. Every donation of $50 or more makes you eligible to receive our shirt showcasing the Ruddy Duck! See below to learn more!

Saturday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017
Click Off Bird Photo Contest

SFBBO's 8th CFC Click Off bird photo contest will again focus on birds living in or migratnig through California. Winners will be selected in the following categories:" "Birds and Their Habitats," "Birds and Humans," and "Bird Behavior." We also have a NEW category this year called "World Birds" that invites people to submit photos of birds that live beyond California! There is no limit to the number of photos each contestant can enter (you can enter five photos per $25 registration). Please register on our donate page and send photos to clickoff@sfbbo.org.

Saturday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017

Help support SFBBO's Coyote Creek Field Station bird banding program by donating to our 2017 Band-a-Thon. If you would like to make a pledge to donate a certain amount per bird caught during the CFC, please contact cfc@sfbbo.org or call (408) 946-6548. We will send participants a final count on Monday, Oct. 9, so they can calculate their final donation. Since 2003, captures during this period have ranged from 375-1,025 birds. Participants can put a cap on the amount they donate. They can also make a lump sum donation. Please contact cfc@sfbbo.org for more information.

Saturday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017
Fundraising Contest

Ask your friends, family, collegues, and neighbors to sponsor you by making a donation of any size to SFBBO in your name and compete to win exciting prizes, including: a trip for two to the Central Valley to see Sandhill Cranes with Lisa Myers and Let's Go Birding (Lisa is also owner of the Los Gatos Birdwatcher); sports clothing from Patagonia; tickets to the Oakland Zoo; whale watching trips with the Oceanic Society and Cheeseman's Ecology Safaris; and more! Contact cfc@sfbbo.org for more information.

Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
Burrowing Owl Walk with Dan Wenny, 9:00 a.m. - Noon
, $50
Join SFBBO Landbird Lead Biologist Dan Wenny, Ph.D., to search for Burrowing Owls and other grassland birds near Alviso. We expect to find owls, Western Meadowlark, Loggerhead Shrike, and a variety of raptors. This is a visit to a site normally closed to the public for conservation purposes and offers a rare opportunity to experience the openness of the last sizeable undeveloped land near the edge of the South Bay salt ponds. If time allows, we will also visit the Warm Springs unit of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont to explore another SFBBO Burrowing Owl reserach area. Dan leads our Burrowing Owl research. He has also researched seed dispersal by birds and subsequent tree seedling survival in the cloud forests of Costa Rica for his Ph.D., and has also studied the effects of forest fragmentation on forest interior birds and studied grassland birds and prairie restoration as well as bird use of high elevation meadows. In addition, he recently co-edited a book, "Why Birds Matter: Avian Ecological Functions and Ecosystem Services." To register, please visit our donate page.

Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017
Tidal Marsh Restoration Tour at Bair Island with David Thomson and Eric Lynch, 9:00 a.m. - Noon
, suggested donation of $50
Join SFBBO Habitats Program Director David Thomson, MS, on a walk to explore Redwood City's Bair Island. Participants will have a chance to enjoy the area's wildlife and learn how David and his team are helping restore this important marsh transition habitat. The group will tour the area to learn about the different plants and strategies SFBBO is using to help tidal marshes adapt to sea level rise, and learn how visitors with smart phones can become citizen scientists and help track our progress. David has actively researched the ecology and restoraton of wetlands in the San Francisco Bay for the past 16 years. The methods he has developed are being used to restore habitat at sites througout the estuary. Eric is a habitats ecologist who works with David on our tidal marsh restoration projects. To register, please visit our donate page.

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 15, and 16, 2017
Bat Banding and Radio Tagging Workshop and Demo with Dave Johnston:
Sept. 13 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., Lecture; Friday, Sept. 15, from dusk to midnight, bat banding and radio tagging demo; Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9:00 a.m.-noon, radio tag location; $150
Join us for a very special workshop and two field trips led by bat biologist David Johnston, Ph.D. In this three-day experience participants will learn about bats during a Wednesday evening lecture, then go out on Friday after dark to mist net, band, and radio tag bats. On Saturday, they will join Dave as he locates the bats using radio tagging technology. People can expect to see Yuma myotis, big brown bats, and possibly Mexican free-tailed bats, as well as learn a lot about bat ecology! Dave is a vertebrate ecologist who specializes in the study of bats and is a well-known authority on bats of the west coast. He also has a vast knowledge of the natural history of vertebrates in California and currently works as an Associate Ecologist at H.T. Harvey & Associates. To register, please visit our donate page.

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017
Regal Eagles Coyote Valley Raptor Walk with Ryan Philips, $50

Join Raptor Biologist Ryan Philips for a morning of birding focused on raptors in Coyote Valley, one of the last wildlife linkages between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range and a great spot for migrating, wintering, and breeding raptors. There will be a good chance of observing over 10 raptor species, including Prairie Falcon, Golden Gate Eagle and the country's only breeding Swainson's Hawk pair. Ryan has been studying raptors for many years and is the co-founder and Hawk Watch Director of the Belize Bird Conservancy. He is also a co-founder and biologist of the newly founded non-profit organization Talon Ecological Research Group. In addition, he is an instructor in the Environmental Studies Department at De Anza College where he teaches numerous wildlife related courses, as well as being the wildlife Science Technician Program Coordinator. Open to adults and children 12 years and older. To register, please visit our donate page.

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
Gallinago Go Gos All Level Birding with Lisa Myers, $50

Join Lisa Myers for the Gallinago Go Gos' 13th year in the California Fall Challenge! Whether you're an experienced birder or if this is your first bird-a-thon, the Go Gos welcome all birding levels. The goal is to get out and have a great time while learning about the birds that can be found throughout Santa Clara County in the fall. Lisa owns her own touring company called Let's Go Birding, Inc., and leads tours throughout California and Central America. She also teaches birding classes and provides a fun, easy-going environment to learn, ask questions, and increase skill levels. In addition, Lisa owns the Los Gatos Birdwatcher, a strong business supporter of SFBBO. Open to adults and children 12 years and oilder. To register, please visit our donate page.

Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017
Varied Twitchers Speed Birding with Mike Rogers, $50

Mike is an experienced birder and knows all the great birding spots of Santa Clara County. This fast-paced walk will take avid birders to the best Alviso and Shoreline Lake birding locations, with the goal to see and hear 100 species! Mike is a fomer member of the California Bird Records Committee and is currenlty a Northern California regional editor for the journal "North American Birds." To register, please visit our donate page.

Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017
Vivacious Vireos Bird Bingo Big Sit with Gina Barton, $50

Join former SFBBO biologist Gina Barton, MS, for a laid back morning at Shoreline Park playing bird bingo. As participants identify birds and bird behavior, they'll mark them off their cards to see who wins! This is a Big Sit, but the group will also stroll surrounding areas depending on the concentration and variety of birds. If you'd like to learn bird behaviors and basic identification by either sight or sound among a fun goup of folks, please sign up! Gina used to lead SFBBO's bird banding program and now leads nature trips with Cheeseman's Ecology Safaris. To register, please visit our donate page.

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
Coastal Mavericks Half Moon Bay Birds with Alvaro Jaramillo, $100

The San Mateo coast offers a wide variety of birding, from shorebirds and raptors to vagrants at migratory stopover sites. This trip will help participants find some of the goodies, specialties and diversity the coast has to offer! Alvaro is a senior biologist at SFBBO known for his popular workshops. He also leads international birding trips and pelagic outings through his company, Alvaro's Adventures. Open to adults and cildren 12 years and older. To register, please visit our donate page.

Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017
Otters and More in Monterey with Max Tarjan, $50

Join SFBBO Waterbird Program Director Max Tarjan, Ph.D., for a fun walk in Monterey. Max did her graduate research on Monterey's sea otter population and will share her love for these and other Monterey species. Sea otters spend most of their lives on the surface of the water near the coast. On the walk, participants will observe this kelp forest habitat and learn about the scientific methods used to study sea otter behavior. Max will explain how researchers capture, tag, and sample tissues to learn about male reproductive success and territorial behavior. Have your spotting scopes ready to observe coastal birds and to search for sea otters, harbor seals, and California sea lions. To register, please visit our donate page.

Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017
Plover Walk with Ben Pearl and Tom and Diane Bennett, $50

Join SFBBO Plover Lead Biologist Ben Pearl, MS, and Plover Docents Tom and Diane Bennett for a plover-spotting adventure at Hayward's Eden Landing Ecological Reserve to seek out this adorable bird and learn what SFBBO is doing to protect this vulnerable, threatened species. Ben studied the foraging habitat selection of Bay Area wintering plovers for his graduate thesis and helps lead SFBBO's ongoing plover research. Tom and Diane have volunteered as citizen scientists in SFBBO's Plover Program for the past four years keeping track of plovers and predators and have surveyed Warm Springs, Frank's Dump, Hayward Shoreline, and Eden Landing Ecological Reserve. They are also founding members of our new Plover Docent Team, and Diane is president of the Golden Gate Audubon Society. To register, please visit our donate page.

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017
Pathways for Wildlife Coyote Valley Wildlife Tracking Walk with Tanya Diamond and Ahiga Snyder, $50

Join Pathways for Wildlife on a hike and wildlife tracking demonstration at the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve with wildlife biologists Tanya Diamond and Ahiga Snyder, who will provide a quick tracking demo and show us how to interpret animal tracks. The 4-mile long Arrowhead Loop Trail is a family friendly outing with moderate hiking. It leads to a ridgetop with views of Mount Hamilton, Mount Umunhum and the beautiful Coyote Valley. During the hike, you can use a handy tracking guide provided to identify tracks along the trail. Pathways for Wildlife is a research organization specializing in identifying, monitoring, and implementing connectivity designs for wildlife movement within a landscape. Tanya's research and work involves creating wildlife linkage designs through wildlife surveys and GIS analysis. Ahiga works closely with land use planners to help inform them of conservation strategies with project research and data results. To register, please visit our donate page.

Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017
Waterbird Extravaganza Bayside Birding with Victoria Heyse and Cole Jower, $50

Join SFBBO Waterbird Biologists Victoria Heyse and Cole Jower to search for waterbirds that live along the San Francisco Bay and discover what scientists have learned about our globally important migratory bird estuary. The walk will take place near Shoreline Park in Mountain View. Victoria is a lead biologist with SFBBO's Waterbird Program and conducts waterbird surveys on the Bay's managed ponds, monitors gulls and corvids at local landfills, and patrols South Bay sloughs to prevent the spread of avian diseases. Cole is a biologist with SFBBO's Waterbird, Plover, and Habitats Programs. He also has experience studying ectoparasitism in cloud forest birds in Ecuador. To register, please visit our donate page.

Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017
Bird Banding Demo at Coyote Creek Field Station with Tom Steart and Martha Castillo, $10

Join SFBBO citizen scientists Tom Stewart, Ph.D., and Martha Castillo for a fascinating bird banding demonstration at SFBBO's Coyote Creek Field Station in Milpitas. Adults and families with kids ages 7 and up can tour mist nets, explore riparian habitat and get a close-up look at birds "in-the-hand." Come see scientists in action and learn why bird banding is so important. Particpants who donate an extra $40 per person in addition to the $10 registration can receive the 2017 CFC T-Shirt, which showcases the Ruddy Duck! To register, please visit our donate page.

Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017
Annual Membership Meeting, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

The 2017 Annual Membership Meeting is open to all current SFBBO members and 2017 CFC contest winners. It will be at the Garden House in Los Altos and will include an optional bird walk at 8:30 a.m., as well as brunch, a presentation about SFBBO's recent woork, a silent auction, and the CFC awards. We will also welcome guest speaker Kristen Ruegg, a research biologist at UCSC and fellow at UCLA who specializes in understanding the mechanisms that generate and maintain species biodiversity in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. To RSVP, please contact CFC@sfbbo.org. To become a member or renewa your memerbship, please vistit our membership page.


Rain Policy

If rain is forecasted for the day of your event, please check your e-mail after the night before for possible cancellation notices from the activity leader. In most cases, activities are not cancelled unless there will be a heavy downpour.


If you are interested in participating in an SFBBO activity, but have accessibility concerns, please contact us at outreach@sfbbo.org. We are happy to work with you and the activity leaders to identify ways to address accessibility issues when possible.