Every spring California least terns return to the Bay Area to breed. These endangered birds, and other terns, have a remarkable hunting style: Drop quickly, and crash head-first into the water. Don’t try that at home!
Usually solitary birds, great blue herons and egrets abandon their private ways in spring, and you can see them nesting in tree tops around the region.
Steelhead are coming to spawn in a stream near you. If you’re lucky, you may see some making their way upstream.
Fall is harvest time for crab fishermen, who place “crab pots” offshore to catch Dungeness crabs. The crabs, the largest species on the West Coast, have a complex lifecycle that takes them from the open ocean to the Bay and back again.
Every winter, coho salmon return to coastal streams, though only 1 percent of the half million fish that once filled local streams. But you can still see them, and even help them survive.
You can still see tule elk, the smallest of North America’s elk, fighting for territory, mating, and raising their young in the Bay Area.
Fall is prime time to see hundreds of hawks, falcons, and other raptors flying south over the Marin Headlands.
Studies elsewhere in the country suggest that bats may be suffering even more than birds as more and more windmills get built. And there are no easy answers: New, larger windmills considered safer for birds might be more dangerous to bats.
More than 900,000 shorebirds use San Francisco Bay sometime during the year, and fall is a great time to see them.
Watch for hungry dragonflies and jays darting about: That can be a sign that the termites are emerging! Termites live mostly underground (or in our walls!) but as winter approaches, they grow wings and take to the air in droves to form new colonies.