Dredging up an Avian Oasis

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What do you get when you scoop up 250,000 cubic yards of muck from the Petaluma River? Prime shorebird habitat, of course. Unlikely as it may seem, Shollenberger Park is a place where birders have spotted 150 bird species, from nesting avocets and stilts to harriers and egrets. And a new addition to the park will make it one of the largest publicly accessible stretches of wetlands in the Bay Area.

Cal Academy Ant Exhibit

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On May 1, the California Academy of Sciences will open its new (temporary) doors at 875 Howard Street in downtown San Francisco. As it rebuilds its Golden Gate Park location, more than 85 percent of the animals from the permanent … Read more

Mount Diablo Audubon Christmas Count Results

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The Mount Diablo Audubon Society’s 51st annual Christmas Bird Count, which took place on December 14, 2003, benefited from sunnier weather and better visibility than the previous year. About 60 volunteer bird counters spotted more than 51,000 birds representing 148 … Read more

International Migratory Bird Day 2004

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Birds will again be studied—and celebrated—at the International Migratory Bird Day festival at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, May 8, in Alviso (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The free event will include naturalist-led bird … Read more

The Courtship of Herons

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All around the Bay Area in spring, herons and egrets begin their annual transformation from mostly solitary top predators to birds gathered in crowded breeding colonies. Local photographer Philip Greene has spent years following the whole subtle and spectacular process by which these large birds break down their resistance to social communion: the changing color of bills and legs, the growth of flowing nuptial plumage, and the complex gestures and dances that make up the fine art of getting to know one another.

Where the Elk and the Antelope Played

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A million years ago, in a climate much like ours today, the land around an ancestral bay teemed with large animals: mammoths and saber-tooth cats; bears, horses, and peccaries. By 300 years ago, the mammoths were gone, but grizzlies, elk, condor, and pronghorn were abundant.European settlers wiped out many of those animals, but programs to reintroduce some of them are now under way. Which raises the question: What should a healthy, native megafauna look like now?

Megafauna Resources

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To learn more about ancient megafauna and efforts to protect and restore the Bay Area’s megafauna: Megafauna Video Check out our feature article on the Bay Area’s prehistoric megafauna, and then watch KQED’s video on megafauna, part of their Quest … Read more

Altamont Wind Resources Area

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As migrating shorebirds pass through Northern California, environmentalists hope they don’t meet the same fate as the hundreds of raptors that perish each year at Altamont Pass in Livermore. More than 40 golden eagles, up to 300 red-tailed hawks, up … Read more