More opportunities to get out. This one involves a bit of looking up.


The Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO) is currently seeking volunteers to help in its efforts to count, monitor, and track the Golden Gate migration, the largest flight of raptors in the Western U.S. A program of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service, volunteers will complete a comprehensive GGRO training program offered only once a year in July, and early August for participation in either the Hawkwatch or Banding programs.

Volunteer hawkwatchers are needed to count migrating hawks as they pass through the Marin Headlands in the Golden Gate National Parks. Volunteer banders will catch and band raptors and take measurements on each hawk that informs the understanding and preservation of California raptor populations.

Since its founding in 1983, committed GGRO volunteers have contributed almost one million hours of their time to raptor counting and banding, docent programs, research, and data entry. Between 1986 and 2013, these volunteers have tallied 638,944 raptor sightings in the Marin Headlands. More than 33,000 birds of prey that have been banded, and of these, approximately 1,200 have been recovered—some from as far away as British Columbia and central Mexico.

Informational volunteer recruitment meetings will be held at 201 Upper Fort Mason in San Francisco on the following dates:

Tuesday, April 23, 2014 7 PM to 9:30 PM
Wednesday, April 24, 2014 7 PM to 9:30 PM
Saturday, April 26, 2014 10 AM to 12:30 PM

Interested parties should plan to attend a recruitment meeting to learn more, and receive a training schedule and application packet (no RSVP is required). For those unable to attend a meeting, but interested in volunteering, please contact GGRO for an application packet.

All volunteer activities will take place in the Marin Headlands. Volunteers must be able to commit to one full field day in the Marin Headlands every two weeks between mid-August through early December (regular field days are every other Tuesday and every other Sunday). All training is provided. Hawkwatchers must be 18 years old or have an adult guardian hawkwatching with them; banders must be at least 18 years old.

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