About the Organization
Home to grasslands, woodlands, sand dunes, saltwater and freshwater wetlands, and many other unique ecosystems, the San Francisco Bay Area supports a wide
variety of endemic bird species. It is also an important stop on the migratory pathway for birds known as the Pacific Flyway. The Golden Gate Audubon
Society, local chapter of the National Audubon, is dedicated to preserving these native birds and other wildlife. They will celebrate 100 years of
efforts in 2017.
The Conservation Challenge
Living in urban areas poses a unique challenge for struggling North American bird species - of which at least one quarter are at risk. Habitat loss caused
by a multitude of factors such as rising sea levels, invasive species, and land development greatly decreases the nesting locations for the near 350
species that spend part of their lives here throughout the year. The buildings themselves are threats to birds, with nearly one billion birds dying
each year from collisions. Irresponsible recreation and pet ownership is also a factor, as birds may experience undue stress or be disrupted by animal
and human disturbances.
Advocacy and Outreach
Thanks to the work of Golden Gate Audubon, Oakland and San Francisco have adopted bird safe building requirements that will help prevent bird collisions.
They advocate for responsible pet ownership, such as indoor-only cats, to reduce the number of avian mortalities. Golden Gate Audubon Society also
works with arborist societies and independent contractors to provide training on seasonal tree trimming, how to spot a nest, and how to follow proper
protocols and laws.
Founded in 1917, Golden Gate Audubon Society partners with land management organizations, local schools, and city planning staff to keep the Bay Area
a safe and healthy place for birds. They use a reach of over 5,000 members to monitor threatened species, restore habitats, and educate the public
on sharing urban space with wildlife. Docents and volunteers spend time monitoring species like the Burrowing Owl, collecting data on the birds’
activities, as well as educating the public about the unique species.
Golden Gate Audubon Society works with disadvantaged schools in East Oakland, North Richmond, and Southeast San Francisco to provide classes on local
habitats and ecosystems, both in classrooms and on field trips. Classes of many subjects are also provided to adults for a small fee. Together,
Golden Gate Audubon Society conducts over 150 field trips per year. A Speaker Series featuring biologists, researchers, photographers, and others
is hosted monthly in either San Francisco or Berkeley.
Oakland Zoo Takes Action
The Zoo has fully embraced the efforts of Golden Gate Audubon and their work with birds. We support the project through:
Quarters for Conservation
Golden Gate Audubon was selected as a 2015-2016 featured project, focusing on their efforts to protect Burrowing Owls.
Outreach and Education
The Zoo aims to use our immense access to the public to help wildlife, like local bird species. Information about GGA and what a person can do to help
birds is included in special event days, docent tours, classes and lectures.
Staff and On-site Help
Oakland Zoo has set up a support team for Golden Gate Audubon’s Heron Patrol project.
You Can Take Action Too
- Become a member of Golden Gate Audubon Society: http://goldengateaudubon.org
- Volunteer in a habitat restoration project, found all around the Bay Area: http://goldengateaudubon.org/volunteer/
- Be mindful of when you trim your trees, and either take a class on bird-friendly tree trimming, or hire an arborist that is ISA certified
- Keep cats indoors, or use humane anti-birding techniques such as collar covers or bibs when letting them outside. Keep dogs on-leash in sensitive areas
(i.e. Burrowing Owl nesting sites)
- Avoid using rodenticides as they can be harmful to humans, pets, and non-target wildlife
- Make your house bird friendly by following tips on how to reduce window collisions: http://goldengateaudubon.org/conservation/make-the-city-safe-for-wildlife/birds-and-collisions/
- Turn off commercial business building lights from dusk until dawn during migration season (February - May and August - November) to help birds who
migrate at night and can be drawn off course by bright lights
- Go to some of the Bay Area’s beautiful parks and see local birds in action! http://goldengateaudubon.org/birding-resources/birding-site/