Maker Faire

Half a Million Hawks Later -- Humans Tracking Raptors at the Golden Gate

Type: Presentation
Program Area: Citizen Science

This event is related to Earth Day!

Day/Time: Saturday, April 22 10:30 AM (30 minutes)

Day/Time: (30 minutes)

Location: DIY Theatre

For two decades, the citizen-driven Golden Gate Raptor Observatory has kept track of the biggest hawk migration in the western US each fall over the Marin Headlands. Traditional scientific tools like binoculars, traps, and radiotransmitters have allowed volunteers to count 1000 hawks a day, to measure the rate of West Nile Virus infection in hawks, and to follow a hawk to Mexico,

But others weren't satisfied with the traditional and so created innovations for migration study at the Golden Gate: among them, a standardized group-counting technique for "measuring" daily flights, and a mechanical "RoboLure" to draw the hawks into traps for banding.

GGRO director Allen Fish will chronicle the Observatory's citizen contributions and its avian splendor. Amidst Goshawks and Golden Eagles, he'll unfold a tale both of citizen responsibility for wildlife monitoring, and of "migration-watching" therapy for our urban lives.

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Presented by

Allen Fish
Golden Gate Raptor Observatory

Director of the GGRO since its inception, Allen Fish was a Redwood City kid who practiced his own altitudinal migrations each summer to the Sierra Nevada. Schooled at UC Davis, he now teaches Raptor Biology there each winter, and consults on avian conservation issues throughout the state. He lives in Berkeley with his wife, an art librarian, and two kids who still can't tell a Redtail from a Redshoulder. But soon.