Welcome to the Marin Audubon Society

About Us

The Marin Audubon Society was established in 1956 as part of the effort to prevent development of houses on Richardson Bay tidelands. Our Mission is “To conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the Earth’s biological diversity.” More »

For more than 60 years Marin Audubon has worked to protect wildlife habitat in Marin, sometimes stepping in to buy land that is slated for development.

MAS also provides its members and the public many opportunities to experience the birdlife and nature of Marin County and beyond through Field Trips and Events, our monthly MAS newsletter The Rail, and three annual Marin Christmas Bird Counts.

ALERT: Report Barred Owl Sightings

Barred Owls have extended their range to the west coast, from the east coast, and have been seen in Marin. There is increasing concern about their impact on Marin's Northern Spotted Owl population. Barred Owls are larger, more agencies have begun to monitor Barred Owl...

San Francisco Bay Joint Venture honors Barbara Salzman

If you have ever participated in any stage of wetland restoration work in Marin County, you have surely met the one and only Barbara Salzman!  Barbara has been working in the field of conservation and advocating on behalf of wetlands and habitats threatened by...

Every bird matters!

While you're enjoying Marin's beautiful beaches this summer be on the lookout for sick or injured seabirds. June 30th was a bright sunny morning at Fort Baker and a happy day for 7 Brown Pelicans that volunteers returned to the ocean. The volunteers were working for...

Baby barn owl found at Deer Island in Novato died from rat poison

A baby Barn Owl found under a nest box at Deer Island in Novato died from rat poison. Source: California News Wire Services Link: http://patch.com/california/novato/owlet-dies-rat-poison-prompts-anti-rodenticide-campaign Document: Owlet Dies from Rat Poison.pdf

Marin beaches are some of the cleanest in the state

Good news: Marin beaches are some of the cleanest in the state, according to a report by the environmental group Heal the Bay. Those rated an A or A+ include: Dillon Beach, Shell Beach, Miller Park, Rodeo Beach, Stinson Beach, Heart's Desire, Lawson's Landing, Chicken...

The Birds of Point Reyes Peninsula checklist now available

A new checklist, The Birds of Point Reyes Peninsula, is now available. It documents the nearly 500 species recorded to date and they're in current taxonomic order. For each species, it includes seasonal bar graphs, status, and relative seasonal abundance. Excellent...

National Audubon has declared 2018 to be the Year of the Bird

National Audubon has declared 2018 to be the Year of the Bird. March's featured action: Grow Native Plants. Find out more at http://www.audubon.org/yearofthebird. Source: National Audubon Society Date: Mar 02, 2018 Author: Link: http://www.audubon.org/yearofthebird...

Membership

We invite you to become a Chapter Supporting Member of Marin Audubon to support our important habitat protection and restoration work, conservation advocacy, our full calendar of birding field trips and speakers and our newsletter, The Rail. More »

ALERT: Report Barred Owl Sightings

Barred Owls have extended their range to the west coast, from the east coast, and have been seen in Marin. There is increasing concern about their impact on Marin's Northern Spotted Owl population. Barred Owls are larger, more agencies have begun to monitor Barred Owl activity in Marin and they need your help! Notify the appropriate agency asap should you see what might be a Barred Owl: For sightings on federal land, notify Bill Merkle - National Parks Service Wildlife Biologist;...

read more

Field Trips

Jun 04

Bear Valley & Five Brooks – Birding in Marin – Season 7, Trip 6

JUNE 4 @ 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Saturday, June 4, 2022
8:30 AM to 3 PM
With Jim White & Bob Battagin
Register for this field trip HERE

Limit of 15 fully vaccinated participants for this trip. Registration for the Bear Valley/Five Brooks trip will be open starting on May 25 at 8:00 AM. There will not be a waiting list.

Join Jim and Bob on this trip as part of their yearly series of Marin walks. We will start our day at Bear Valley in search of nesting birds. Next, we’ll travel to Olema Marsh and Whitehouse Pool for a look at some different habitats. Our final stop of the day will be Five Brooks where we have a chance of finding Wood Duck at the retired logging pond. We will also look for birds in the Douglas Fir forest.

DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101 take Sir Francis Drake Blvd toward Point Reyes for about 20 miles. At Olema turn right onto Hwy 1.

In 600 feet, turn left onto Bear Valley Rd. In approximately 0.5 mile, turn left at the entrance to Point Reyes National Seashore Headquarters at Bear Valley. We will meet at the picnic tables near the parking lot. 

Become a chapter supporting member of the Marin Audubon Society starting at $35 a year, or RENEW your membership today! Your membership helps to fund important efforts such as our ongoing habitat restoration projects, the Monarch Rescue Project, and our Northern Spotted Owl Outreach program. We cannot do these important projects, along with our many other efforts, without the support of our dedicated members!

Jun 10

Lunar Viewing Event – Bahia

JUNE 10 @ 8:30 PM - 10:30 PM

Friday, June 10, 2022
8:30 -10:30 pm
With Ken George
Please register for this field trip HERE

Tickets for this event will be available starting May 31st at 8 AM.

Join Ken George, longtime member of San Francisco Amateur Astronomers, to share his homemade astronomical telescope to view the Moon at its optimal viewing angle and phase for the month. Ken has been giving free public night sky viewings for over 12 years at various locations in the North Bay Area, including Chabot Space and Science Center and many Marin Public Libraries. He also meets with fellow “Sidewalk Astronomers” on Mt. Tam once a month for free public star parties.

Directions: Exit 101N at Atherton/San Marin Dr (exit 463). At end of exit ramp, turn east (right) onto Atherton. In 0.8 miles, turn left onto Bugeia Ln. In approx. 1/2 mile, slight right onto Bahia Dr, continue approx.1 mile to stop sign. Turn right onto Topaz until near the end of the road. Meet at gate entrance across from Bahia Clubhouse.

Rain, high wind or excessive cloud cover cancels.

Jun 11

Muir Beach & Redwood Creek

JUNE 11 @ 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Saturday, June 11, 2022
8:30 AM to noon
Birding with young birders John King, Joseph Zeno, and Mark Schulist
Register for this field trip HERE

Limit of 20 fully vaccinated participants on this trip. Registration opens on June 1.

Join John, Joseph, and Mark for a field trip to the coastal riparian habitats of Muir Beach and Redwood Creek where we’ll observe some of Marin’s nesting songbirds and catch the tail end of Spring Migration. We will meet at the Muir Beach parking lot, and then bird the Green Gulch Trail. We will likely encounter breeding warblers, flycatchers, and other small passerines. Next, we will travel to another portion of Redwood Creek’s Riparian corridor just down the road to find more songbird species in the vegetation around the creek. Finally, we will end our trip at the Muir Beach overlook where encounters with Peregrine Falcons are common and we can eat lunch with a nice view of the ocean.

DIRECTIONS: Meet at Muir Beach parking lot. From Hwy 101, take exit 445B and merge onto CA-1S, in approx. ½ mile, turn left onto CA-1N, in 5.1 miles, left onto Pacific Way, continue straight 0.2 miles to parking lot.

Jul 02

BIG ROCK & LAS GALLINAS – Birding in Marin – Season 7, Trip 7

JULY 2 @ 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Saturday, July 2, 2022
8:30 AM to 3 PM
Birding with Jim White and Bob Battagin
Register for this field trip HERE

Limit of 15 fully vaccinated participants for this trip. Registration opens on June 22.

Trails at Big Rock, rather steep, allow us to view some of the expansive grasslands and forested ravines in Marin. Some of the grassland nesting birds we will be looking for include Lazuli BuntingGrasshopper SparrowHorned Lark, and Ash-throated Flycatcher. We will also have a vast amount of sky visible so swallows, swifts, and raptors may appear with a chance for a Golden Eagle.

At midday we expect to drive Lucas Valley Road to Las Gallinas where we will be looking for American and Least BitternsGreen HeronCinnamon TealCommon Gallinule, and Great-tailed Grackle.

Fully vaccinated participants can register for the Big Rock/Las Gallinas trip starting on June 22 at 8:00 AM on the MAS website Field Trips page.

DIRECTIONS: From Highway 101 in San Rafael, exit on Lucas Valley Rd and go west approximately 5.5 miles (look for the big rock). We will be walking approximately 3 miles. Because this area can get quite hot this time of year, be sure to wear a hat, use sunscreen and carry plenty of water.

Aug 06

Sky Trail & Limantour – Birding in Marin – Season 7, Trip 8

AUGUST 6 @ 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Sat, 8/6/22 – 8:30 AM to mid afternoon
With Jim White and Bob Battagin
Meet; at Sky Trailhead at 8:30 AM, near the crest of Limantour Rd. Directions below.
Register for this field trip HERE

Limit of 15 fully vaccinated participants for this trip. Registration opens on July 27.

The Sky Trail, called “the misty spine of Bear Valley”, takes us through a maturing Douglas Fir/ Bishop Pine forest. Forest birds are more active early and moving birds often follow ridges so I would like to look and listen on our walk through this habitat. We may see or hear a Pileated Woodpecker, Band Tailed Pigeons, Stellar’s Jays, Swainson’s Thrush, Osprey, nuthatches and surely Acorn Woodpeckers and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. Northern Spotted Owls, Western Screech and Saw-whet Owls live here but we would need to be here at dusk or dawn to hear them.

After we leave, we drive down to the great beach of Limantour with its miles of sand, its tidal estuary the open expanse of Drakes Bay and the Pacific ocean beyond. We will gather at 9:30 in the ample parking lot with restrooms nearby. We’ll pack our lunches, shoulder our scopes and head out and up the beach. We can hike far enough to find Snowy Plovers to get our exercise and to cross over to the estuary side for our walk back. Gulls, terns, cormorants, loons, grebes, pelicans, murres, and guillemots will garner our attention and I’m always interested what the Pacific will bring close to shore. Shorebirds too, some already back from their breeding excursion to the Arctic, may decorate the shore or be gathering along the estuary shores and shallows. Some ducks, hawks, and herons will show up too.

Directions to Sky Trail: From CA 1 South, right (left from CA 1 North) onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd for 0.7 miles, left onto Bear Valley Road for 0.5, then right onto Limantour Road for 3.4 miles to the Sky Trailhead. Roadside parking is available near the trailhead.

From Sky Trailhead, the drive to the Limantour beach parking lot is 4.3 miles.

Speaker Series

Jun 09

Tricolored Blackbird Ecology and Conservation in California’s Central Valley and Sierra Foothills

JUNE 9 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Thursday, June 9 at 7:00 PM
Speaker: Dan Airola

Register for the June Speaker Series Zoom program HERE

The Tricolored Blackbird has declined dramatically from its historical abundance to become a state-listed species, as a result of massive land-use changes in California’s Central Valley. The species has adapted and now occupies a variety of novel habitats, including agricultural fields and grazing lands in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  Dan Airola has studied Tricolored Blackbirds over the last decade in the valley and foothills to understand their population status, habitat requirements, future land use threats, and conservation management. He offers a conservation assessment addressing both the challenges of land use change and encouraging efforts to conserve the species.

Raised in Marin County, wildlife biologist and ornithologist Daniel Airola conducts research and conservation efforts for birds of concern in northern California. He is a member of the statewide Tricolored Blackbird Working Group and leads its Research Committee. Other research species include the Purple Martin, Yellow-billed Magpie, Swainson’s Hawk, and Osprey. His recent book on 30 years of Purple Martin research and management is available at cvbirds.org. 

Speaker Series

Marin Audubon hosts a monthly Speaker Series on the second Thursday of the month, from September through June. The programs feature lectures on birds, mammals, and other natural history topics and are given by speakers who are experts in their field. Programs are free and open to the public. More »

Conservation

Maybe you have had the experience of passing a favorite spot only to be disappointed at the sight of bulldozers and “progress” at work. Maybe you’ve lamented about the inevitability of it all, enraged that it occurred, or maybe you are frustrated about loss of wildlife, trees, habitats and/or climate change. If you have, then it is time to think about Marin Audubon’s Conservation Committee. More »

Volunteer

MAS offers many opportunities to meet fellow members and to support our environmental protection and conservation efforts. Would you like to serve on the Board of Directors? Help with the Christmas Bird Count? Help with restoration projects? Join the MAS Conservation Committee? Help with the annual MAS/ACR Mother’s Day BBQ event in May? These are just a few of the many ways that you can pursue your interests or share your talents. More »

Properties

Consistent with our mission “To conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity” the Marin Audubon Society has been acquiring properties in Marin County with current or restorable habitats. Some properties are restored and turned over to a public agency and some properties remain in the ownership of the Marin Audubon Society. More »

Stewardship/Restoration

Marin Audubon plans and implements habitat restoration and enhancement projects, maintains habitats, and monitors activities on properties it owns. Restorations focus on recreating tidal marshes and associated transition zone and upland habitats. Restorations usually involve moving dirt fill or levees to lower elevations or remove obstructions(levees) to tidal waters and are usually undertaken with grants from federal, state or private foundations. More »

Photo Credits

Photographs throughout this website were contributed by Len Blumin, Elyse Omernick, Dave Strauss, Jude Stalker, Gerry Jarocki, Ann Thomas, Ed Nute, Richard Bohnet, and Barbara Salzman.

MAS BOARD OPPORTUNITY

Marin Audubon has extensive programs, has made impressive accomplishments preserving and restoring habitats, and conducts volunteer work days to maintain habitats we own. Our programs include conservation to protect our environment, the Breeding Bird Atlas, field trips to see and learn about birds, and monthly illustrated talks about birds and natural history.

At this critical time when climate change threatens birds, habitats and ourselves, a strong and involved  board of directors is even more important to help us deal with these issues locally. We depend on volunteers, including members of our Board, to plan and oversee our programs. To find out more about our Board, and other volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, please contact a member of our Nominating Committee:  

Bob Hinz:
Elyse Omernick:
Martha Jarocki:

Speaker Series

Jun 09

Tricolored Blackbird Ecology and Conservation in California’s Central Valley and Sierra Foothills

JUNE 9 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Thursday, June 9 at 7:00 PM
Speaker: Dan Airola

Register for the June Speaker Series Zoom program HERE

The Tricolored Blackbird has declined dramatically from its historical abundance to become a state-listed species, as a result of massive land-use changes in California’s Central Valley. The species has adapted and now occupies a variety of novel habitats, including agricultural fields and grazing lands in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  Dan Airola has studied Tricolored Blackbirds over the last decade in the valley and foothills to understand their population status, habitat requirements, future land use threats, and conservation management. He offers a conservation assessment addressing both the challenges of land use change and encouraging efforts to conserve the species.

Raised in Marin County, wildlife biologist and ornithologist Daniel Airola conducts research and conservation efforts for birds of concern in northern California. He is a member of the statewide Tricolored Blackbird Working Group and leads its Research Committee. Other research species include the Purple Martin, Yellow-billed Magpie, Swainson’s Hawk, and Osprey. His recent book on 30 years of Purple Martin research and management is available at cvbirds.org. 

Field Trips

Jun 04

Bear Valley & Five Brooks – Birding in Marin – Season 7, Trip 6

JUNE 4 @ 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Saturday, June 4, 2022
8:30 AM to 3 PM
With Jim White & Bob Battagin
Register for this field trip HERE

Limit of 15 fully vaccinated participants for this trip. Registration for the Bear Valley/Five Brooks trip will be open starting on May 25 at 8:00 AM. There will not be a waiting list.

Join Jim and Bob on this trip as part of their yearly series of Marin walks. We will start our day at Bear Valley in search of nesting birds. Next, we’ll travel to Olema Marsh and Whitehouse Pool for a look at some different habitats. Our final stop of the day will be Five Brooks where we have a chance of finding Wood Duck at the retired logging pond. We will also look for birds in the Douglas Fir forest.

DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 101 take Sir Francis Drake Blvd toward Point Reyes for about 20 miles. At Olema turn right onto Hwy 1.

In 600 feet, turn left onto Bear Valley Rd. In approximately 0.5 mile, turn left at the entrance to Point Reyes National Seashore Headquarters at Bear Valley. We will meet at the picnic tables near the parking lot. 

Become a chapter supporting member of the Marin Audubon Society starting at $35 a year, or RENEW your membership today! Your membership helps to fund important efforts such as our ongoing habitat restoration projects, the Monarch Rescue Project, and our Northern Spotted Owl Outreach program. We cannot do these important projects, along with our many other efforts, without the support of our dedicated members!

Jun 10

Lunar Viewing Event – Bahia

JUNE 10 @ 8:30 PM - 10:30 PM

Friday, June 10, 2022
8:30 -10:30 pm
With Ken George
Please register for this field trip HERE

Tickets for this event will be available starting May 31st at 8 AM.

Join Ken George, longtime member of San Francisco Amateur Astronomers, to share his homemade astronomical telescope to view the Moon at its optimal viewing angle and phase for the month. Ken has been giving free public night sky viewings for over 12 years at various locations in the North Bay Area, including Chabot Space and Science Center and many Marin Public Libraries. He also meets with fellow “Sidewalk Astronomers” on Mt. Tam once a month for free public star parties.

Directions: Exit 101N at Atherton/San Marin Dr (exit 463). At end of exit ramp, turn east (right) onto Atherton. In 0.8 miles, turn left onto Bugeia Ln. In approx. 1/2 mile, slight right onto Bahia Dr, continue approx.1 mile to stop sign. Turn right onto Topaz until near the end of the road. Meet at gate entrance across from Bahia Clubhouse.

Rain, high wind or excessive cloud cover cancels.

Jun 11

Muir Beach & Redwood Creek

JUNE 11 @ 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Saturday, June 11, 2022
8:30 AM to noon
Birding with young birders John King, Joseph Zeno, and Mark Schulist
Register for this field trip HERE

Limit of 20 fully vaccinated participants on this trip. Registration opens on June 1.

Join John, Joseph, and Mark for a field trip to the coastal riparian habitats of Muir Beach and Redwood Creek where we’ll observe some of Marin’s nesting songbirds and catch the tail end of Spring Migration. We will meet at the Muir Beach parking lot, and then bird the Green Gulch Trail. We will likely encounter breeding warblers, flycatchers, and other small passerines. Next, we will travel to another portion of Redwood Creek’s Riparian corridor just down the road to find more songbird species in the vegetation around the creek. Finally, we will end our trip at the Muir Beach overlook where encounters with Peregrine Falcons are common and we can eat lunch with a nice view of the ocean.

DIRECTIONS: Meet at Muir Beach parking lot. From Hwy 101, take exit 445B and merge onto CA-1S, in approx. ½ mile, turn left onto CA-1N, in 5.1 miles, left onto Pacific Way, continue straight 0.2 miles to parking lot.

Jul 02

BIG ROCK & LAS GALLINAS – Birding in Marin – Season 7, Trip 7

JULY 2 @ 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Saturday, July 2, 2022
8:30 AM to 3 PM
Birding with Jim White and Bob Battagin
Register for this field trip HERE

Limit of 15 fully vaccinated participants for this trip. Registration opens on June 22.

Trails at Big Rock, rather steep, allow us to view some of the expansive grasslands and forested ravines in Marin. Some of the grassland nesting birds we will be looking for include Lazuli BuntingGrasshopper SparrowHorned Lark, and Ash-throated Flycatcher. We will also have a vast amount of sky visible so swallows, swifts, and raptors may appear with a chance for a Golden Eagle.

At midday we expect to drive Lucas Valley Road to Las Gallinas where we will be looking for American and Least BitternsGreen HeronCinnamon TealCommon Gallinule, and Great-tailed Grackle.

Fully vaccinated participants can register for the Big Rock/Las Gallinas trip starting on June 22 at 8:00 AM on the MAS website Field Trips page.

DIRECTIONS: From Highway 101 in San Rafael, exit on Lucas Valley Rd and go west approximately 5.5 miles (look for the big rock). We will be walking approximately 3 miles. Because this area can get quite hot this time of year, be sure to wear a hat, use sunscreen and carry plenty of water.

Aug 06

Sky Trail & Limantour – Birding in Marin – Season 7, Trip 8

AUGUST 6 @ 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Sat, 8/6/22 – 8:30 AM to mid afternoon
With Jim White and Bob Battagin
Meet; at Sky Trailhead at 8:30 AM, near the crest of Limantour Rd. Directions below.
Register for this field trip HERE

Limit of 15 fully vaccinated participants for this trip. Registration opens on July 27.

The Sky Trail, called “the misty spine of Bear Valley”, takes us through a maturing Douglas Fir/ Bishop Pine forest. Forest birds are more active early and moving birds often follow ridges so I would like to look and listen on our walk through this habitat. We may see or hear a Pileated Woodpecker, Band Tailed Pigeons, Stellar’s Jays, Swainson’s Thrush, Osprey, nuthatches and surely Acorn Woodpeckers and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. Northern Spotted Owls, Western Screech and Saw-whet Owls live here but we would need to be here at dusk or dawn to hear them.

After we leave, we drive down to the great beach of Limantour with its miles of sand, its tidal estuary the open expanse of Drakes Bay and the Pacific ocean beyond. We will gather at 9:30 in the ample parking lot with restrooms nearby. We’ll pack our lunches, shoulder our scopes and head out and up the beach. We can hike far enough to find Snowy Plovers to get our exercise and to cross over to the estuary side for our walk back. Gulls, terns, cormorants, loons, grebes, pelicans, murres, and guillemots will garner our attention and I’m always interested what the Pacific will bring close to shore. Shorebirds too, some already back from their breeding excursion to the Arctic, may decorate the shore or be gathering along the estuary shores and shallows. Some ducks, hawks, and herons will show up too.

Directions to Sky Trail: From CA 1 South, right (left from CA 1 North) onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd for 0.7 miles, left onto Bear Valley Road for 0.5, then right onto Limantour Road for 3.4 miles to the Sky Trailhead. Roadside parking is available near the trailhead.

From Sky Trailhead, the drive to the Limantour beach parking lot is 4.3 miles.

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ALERT: Report Barred Owl Sightings

Barred Owls have extended their range to the west coast, from the east coast, and have been seen in Marin. There is increasing concern about their impact on Marin's Northern Spotted Owl population. Barred Owls are larger, more agencies have begun to monitor Barred Owl activity in Marin and they need your help! Notify the appropriate agency asap should you see what might be a Barred Owl: For sightings on federal land, notify Bill Merkle - National Parks Service Wildlife Biologist;...

read more

Luna Burke and Ned Harrelson are on the run.

Licensed to care for injured and orphaned wildlife, Luna is determined to smuggle a homicidal Bald Eagle out of her husband’s private zoo in Florida, reunite the bird with its mate, and get them both to an eagle sanctuary in Canada.

Hot on her trail are her mogul husband, his bodyguards, the police, conservation officials, and an expert government tracker; aiding and abetting her are a smitten young tech guy, a lethal Navy SEAL turned panther advocate, and an underground railroad of wildlife rescuers intent on protecting one of their own.

Waiting in Ontario is a legendary old eco-warrior more than willing to provide refuge…as long as Luna and Ned can make it across the border.

“Longtime bird rehabber Suzie Gilbert’s funny, fast-paced novel follows zookeeper Luna Burke’s wacky journey to deliver a stolen Bald Eagle and its mate to a raptor sanctuary. A great beach read for bird buffs.” – Audubon Magazine

“Suzie Gilbert’s debut novel takes readers on a wild, comic, and sweet ride…” – Birdwatching Magazine

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