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Bay Area Bird Blog » volunteer

Archive for the 'volunteer' Category

13th 2008
Wildlife rescue classes

Posted under volunteer & wildlife (general)

I don’t know if this class covers birds specifically, but:
WildRescue will be teaching a “unique and comprehensive 8-hour class that explores the fundamentals of wildlife rescue and provides instruction numerous capture strategies for land and marine animals…” Be prepared to help out the next time there’s an oil spill, or an injured animal in your neighborhood. Classes are November 8 in Berkeley (at the Shorebird Park Nature Center) and December 6 in San Francisco (Crissy Field). Costs only $40 for 8 hours, call 831-869-6241.

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14th 2008
Pacific Flyway Bird-A-Thon, Sept. 1 - Oct. 15

Posted under science & volunteer

Point Reyes Bird Observatory (PRBO) Conservation cordially welcomes the California birding community and friends to help celebrate the 31st. Annual PRBO - Bird-A-Thon which supports the work of 120 staff and seasonal scientists with critical conservation science and education programs in the Pacific Flyway. Join an existing team, create your own team or bird individually! Whatever works best for you in 24 hours between
September 1- October 15th. To learn how you can participate visit -

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5th 2008
Where have all the volunteers gone?

Posted under activism & volunteer

Remember last year’s oil spill in the San Francisco Bay?  Remember how many thousands of volunteers came out to clean up the beaches and rescue oiled birds?  Remember how many people were frustrated that they weren’t allowed to help without special training?  Hearing those stories, you would have thought there were thousands and thousands of people in the Bay Area who are motivated to devote time and effort into an unpleasant task, in order to try to reduce environmental damage in the Bay Area.  You would have thought that, and you would have been wrong.  Or at least, you would have been somewhat misled.  Volunteer-oriented groups, like Golden Gate Audubon Society and the Sierra Club, didn’t see their volunteer efforts swell with hundreds or thousands of new people.  Almost all of these organizations rely on the same, rather small, groups of dedicated volunteers that they had before.  Sure, some new people show up, but some regular volunteers drop out, and the numbers stay about the same.

 I don’t really understand what the problem is.   The would-be oil spill volunteers really did want to clean up the oil spill and help rescue oiled birds, I’m not questioning their desire to help.  But for some reason oil-spill cleanup is the ONLY unpleasant jobs most of them are willing to do to help the environment.  Is it because the oil spill got lots of press coverage?  Is it because the oil spill was so visible?  

Is there any way to get potential volunteers fired up to devote the same kind of energy to projects that are more mundane but even more important than oil spill cleanup?   (For instance, whether the City of Richmond sets aside 20% or 80% of their shoreline as protected open space has environmental implications way, way, way bigger than an oil spill, but doesn’t get 1% of the press coverage or volunteer interest.  It’s hard to get a dozen people to show up at a City Council meeting, never mind a hundred people or a thousand people). 


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24th 2008
Plant a willow, save a beaver: Martinez willow-planting

Posted under day trips & local wildlife & volunteer

Saturday, June 7, 2008, the Martinez “Worth A Dam” group is doing a willow-planting party.  Even if there were no beavers there, this would be a great thing: willows are great riparian vegetation, they shade the water so it’s good for fish, they provide perches for little birdies, etc.  In this case the planting is even better because (1) the beavers need willows! and (2) good turnouts at events like this will help convince the Martinez mayor and others that they should allow the beavers to stay. If you haven’t been out to Martinez, this would be a great time to go.  Show up super early and you might get a chance to see the beavers before they go into their lodge for the day; then go to the good local breakfast joint a few blocks away to fortify yourself, and then go out and stick some willow stakes into the ground (that’s pretty much all it takes).  For info, go to

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22nd 2008
Where are the Berkeley Cooper’s Hawks? Help find them.

Posted under local birds & volunteer

Cooper\'s Hawk photo[Photo fby William Kendall, from Cornell’s Project Feederwatch].
A group called CHIN — dunno what it stands for, but I’m sure CH stands for Cooper’s Hawks — tries to keep track of all of the Cooper’s hawks in Berkeley. They’ve been doing this for the past six years, and by now they pretty much know every year where they will find nests. But: “After years of getting comfortable with having a range of nest numbers in our study area from 9 to 14, we’re finding a lot of holes this year. Of course, “holes” may have two meanings: (1) that we have no Cooper’s Hawks nesting in certain areas that have been long or occasionally active; or (2) we haven’t found them yet. Weirdly, our holes are showing in some of our most stable nest areas, Hinkel Park, Remillard-Cragmont, Live Oak Park, etc.” So they’re organizing a late-nesting-season “blitz” to look for nests that they may be missing.  For instance, the tree they where they used to nest in Live Oak Park was cut down; maybe this pair just moved somewhere else nearby and hasn’t yet been found by CHIN.   CHIN will do their blitz from June 7 to 22.  If you can help out, contact Allen Fish at (afish at parksconservancy dot org) or leave a comment here. 


5th 2008
Golden Gate Audubon meeting & pizza

Posted under activism & volunteer

The East Bay Conservation Committee of Golden Gate Audubon meets Tuesday, May 5…that’s probably TODAY, as you’re reading this!

The big news for May is that our meeting will be at a DIFFERENT LOCATION.  Instead of the Audubon office on San Pablo, we’ll be meeting next Tuesday, May 6, starting 6:30 PM at  “Bobby G’s Pizzeria” in Berkeley, at 2072 University Avenue.  This is a few storefonts down from Shattuck, about 4 blocks from the Berkeley BART station.  See their website for a map or menu or whatever:   It’s possible, just possible, that our meeting will be a little less businesslike and a little more fun than usual, but we will have an agenda and by god we’ll get through it!

Here’s a chance to get some good work done, meet new people, AND have fun.

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17th 2008
Say “hi” this Saturday at Berkeley Earth Day

Posted under talks/presentations & volunteer

This coming Saturday, April 19, is Berkeley’s Earth Day celebration. It’s at Civic Center Park, at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Way and Center Street, a couple of blocks west of the BART station. It’s got food, music, crafts booths, that sort of thing. For at least part of the day, I’ll be helping man a booth on the Center Street side…actually several groups are sharing several booths: KyotoUSA, Golden Gate Audubon, Urban Creeks Council, and East Bay Watershed Nursery will all be there. There will be some give-aways, and we’ll have some flyers, including East Bay Shoreline bird lists and other useful info. I’d be thrilled if someone would stop by and say they read my blog! Also, if anyone can help man the booth, leave a comment and we’ll sign you up! –Phil

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28th 2008
Reminder: Lights Out tomorrow night (every night!) to help migrating birds!

Posted under local birds & volunteer

We’re in the middle of the spring migration right now, with millions of birds making their way north to feed and breed.  Light pollution really messes with these guys, screwing up their navigation.  Even worse, they can be attracted to lighted high-rise windows and fly into them at full speed, so it’s especially important to turn off lights in office buildings and tall apartment buildings.  For more info, see my previous blog entry.  And although there is a campaign organized around March 29, it would sure be great to go all the way from mid-March through mid-April.  Try to keep outside light as low as possible.  Why not make it the whole year?

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