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Bay Area Local Sites & Resources

Audubon Canyon Ranch Bay Area Hikers: Lots of pictures and descriptions of local hiking opportunities.

Bay Nature Magazine: Beautiful, well-written, full-color quarterly magazine that explores and celebrates the natural world of the San Francisco Bay Area.

What Bird: Identify birds in North America for bird watching or as a bird guide. Search engine for identifying birds. For birders and identification of wild birds.

Bolinas Lagoon: A unique, irreplaceable treasure.

Christmas Bird Counts in Marin County: Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations – and to help guide conservation action. National Audubon Christmas Bird Counts are the nation’s longest-running community science bird project.

The California Naturalist: David Wimpfheimer is a naturalist and biologist with a passion for the birds and natural history of the West. David’s extensive knowledge of the natural history of California is incorporated into his customized birding tours as well as with groups such as the Smithsonian Institution, Oceanic Society and the National Audubon Society.

eBird, a project developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, provides a simple way for you to keep track of the birds you see anywhere in North America. You can retrieve information on your bird observations, from your backyard to your neighborhood to your favorite bird-watching locations, at any time for your personal use. You can also access the entire historical database to find out what other eBirders are reporting from across North America. In addition, the cumulative eBird database is used by birdwatchers, scientists, and conservationists who want to know more about the distributions and movement patterns of birds across the continent.

Environmental Forum of Marin: The Environmental Forum of Marin is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the environment by educating its members and the Marin citizenry on environmental issues.

Friends of Corte Madera Creek is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization founded in 1995 to protect and enhance the natural ecosystems of the area, especially those relating to urbanized creeks and wetlands. 

Friends of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Encompassing the largest remaining continuous patch of pickleweed-dominated tidal marsh in the northern San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay NWR protects and preserves habitat critical to the survival of the endangered California clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse. The Refuge and surrounding San Pablo Bay area also provide wintering habitat for millions of shorebirds and waterfowl, including the largest wintering population of canvasbacks on the west coast.

Golden Gate Audubon Society is dedicated to protecting Bay Area birds, other wildlife, and their natural habitats. They conserve and restore wildlife habitats, connect people of all ages and backgrounds with the natural world, and educate and engage Bay Area residents in the protection of our shared, local environment.

Golden Gate Raptor Observatory: Learn more about the epic fall migration of raptors over the Golden Gate. Answer such burning questions as: Why are they here? Where are they going? How are they doing?

Greater Farallones Association conserves the wildlife and habitats of the Sanctuary through scientific research, environmental education, and community-based conservation.

Hamilton/Bel Marin Keys Restoration Project: Between 1800 and the late 1990s, about 80% of the tidal marshes in the San Francisco Bay estuary were lost due to diking and filling. These tidal marshes provide many ecosystem services which benefit not only nature, but our society. The Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project represents a significant step in reversing historic habitat loss and recovering imperiled wildlife. The birding there is excellent, especially during the winter months and migration. Marin Audubon sponsors one or two trips annually to view the spectacle.

Keith Hansen: Many thanks to renowned artist Keith Hansen for our beautiful Clapper Rail logo. Please visit Keith online, or at his gallery in downtown Bolinas!

Marin Baylands Advocates is dedicated to permanently protecting Marin County bayland habitats through acquisition or other means. MBA primarily supports efforts of its fiduciary agent, Marin Audubon Society, and other organizations/agencies to acquire baylands, and also works to ensure the habitat values of baylands are preserved and enhanced, where possible. Baylands are lands that are, or historically were, subject to tidal action and adjacent uplands that are part of bayland habitats. 

Marin Conservation League: In the early 1930s a few Marin citizens became alarmed that the new bridge from San Francisco might bring a wave of unsuitable development to mar their county’s beauty and in response they formed Marin Conservation League.

Marin County Parks: In 1972, the people of Marin voted to form and to fund the Marin County Open Space District for the purpose of acquiring and managing areas of natural landscape within the county. From this visionary act, thousands of acres have been preserved. Open space naturalists lead many great walks throughout the year.

Marin Nature Adventures: All Marin Nature Adventures are led by certified naturalists Sharon ‘Heron’ Barnett and Kevin Stockmann. We offer fun-filled guided Hikes, Tide Pooling, Bird Watching, Bicycling, Mountain Bike Tours, Nature Birthday Parties and other Natural History Programs in beautiful Marin County, California.

Marin Trails: A guide to the great outdoors in Marin, including the seven best places to view birds.

Mt. Diablo Audubon Society is committed to the sustainable balance of our community’s people, birds, other wildlife, and habitat through conservation, education, and advocacy.

Napa-Solano Audubon Society has a mission to share the fun of birding, promote conservation and scientific understanding of wild birds and their habitats, and offer engaging, science-based education emphasizing the communities of Napa and Solano counties.

Nature in Novato: Information about northeast Marin’s best birding sites; lovely photos and descriptions of local birds, trees, and flowers; and an introduction to backyard birdsong.

Point Reyes National Seashore Association: Discover the magic of Pt. Reyes with seminars, field trips, classes and nature camps.

Point Blue (previously called Point Reyes Bird Observatory) has a mission to advance the conservation of birds, other wildlife, and ecosystems through science, partnerships, and outreach.

Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary: A beautiful jewel on Richardson Bay in Tiburon. The primary focus is to serve as a local environmental education facility, and to provide a habitat preserve for birds, migratory waterfowl and other wildlife. Comprised of 11 acres of varied terrain and 900 acres of submerged lands, the Center supports a variety of ecosystems making it a diverse and engaging outdoor classroom.

Save The Bay: Save The Bay (Save San Francisco Bay Association) seeks to preserve, restore and protect the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta Estuary as a healthy and biologically diverse ecosystem essential to the well-being of the human and natural communities it sustains.

San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory is a not-for-profit research organization dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats through original research, monitoring, and educational activities based in Alviso.

San Francisco Bay Joint Venture is one of eighteen Joint Ventures established under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and funded under the annual Interior Appropriations act. It brings together public and private agencies, conservation groups, development interests, and others to restore wetlands and wildlife habitat in San Francisco Bay watersheds and along the Pacific coasts of San Mateo, Marin and Sonoma counties.

San Francisco Estuary Partnership is a coalition of resource agencies, non-profits, citizens, and scientists working to protect, restore, and enhance water quality and fish and wildlife habitat in and around the San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary.

Tamalpais Conservation Club‘s primary purpose is to protect the natural features of the mountain, and its slopes and spurs. The club is known as the Guardian of the Mountain in recognition of its activities to preserve the wild and scenic character of Mount Tamalpais. The club supports retention of these lands as a public park and nature preserve, and aids in the acquisition of open space.

WildCare & Terwilliger Nature Education: WildCare is a unique organization located in Marin County, California. Cares for ill, orphaned or injured wild animals returning them to the wild. Helping children, and adults, learn how to make room for our forest and shoreline friends within our environment.

Your Wetlands: The partners of the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture share a larger common vision for protecting a total of over 200,000 acres of wetlands in the nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay. In 2005, partners from the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture who have been actively working to protect and restore wetlands in San Pablo Bay came together to find ways to educate the traveling public about the wetlands and projects along the 17 mile stretch of State Highway 37, now known as the North Bay Flyway Highway.


Audubon California: Audubon California is building a better future for California by bringing people together to appreciate, enjoy and protect our spectacular outdoor treasures.

California Hotspots: Where do you want to go birding in California today?

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR): The reserve is a corner of the slough set aside to preserve wildlife and promote education and research. In addition to the Visitor Center, there are 5 miles of hiking trails, picnic tables and information.

Joe Morlan’s California Birding Pages

National & International

Forest Holiday: 50 ways forest and outdoor learning experiences benefit childhood development. Everyone loves the great outdoors. Children love playing in nature’s playground. They love gloriously muddy outdoor adventures. They love to explore further than the eye can see. They love to discover wildlife as they go. Connecting with nature is key to creativity and curiosity. Key findings agree. A recent Government poll found that 95% of children enjoyed learning outdoors rather than indoors.

American Bird Conservancy: Home of the Cats Indoors! campaign.

Birding Hotspots Around the World: This website contains information on birding in 200 countries, 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada, and all 50 US states plus Washington, D.C. 94 photographers and 9 organizations have provided permission to showcase their work on this site. The site contains over 500 bird images.

Birding Pal: Find a local birder to go birdwatching with all over the world.

An Essential Guide to Enjoying US National Parks Responsibly

Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP): Guided in part by the constellations, migrating birds are attracted to lights shining from skyscrapers, broadcast towers, lighthouses, monuments and other tall structures. The birds either flutter about the light until they drop from exhaustion, or actually hit the object. Fog, rain or low cloud can make the problem worse. The Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP), a registered charity, was formed in April 1993 in Toronto to find a solution to the problem of migrating birds crashing into lighted structures.

Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) is a Californian non-profit organization founded in 1989 to foster a global approach to the study of changes in bird populations.

International Bird Rescue Research Center: The International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) is dedicated to mitigating the human impact on aquatic birds and other wildlife, worldwide. This is achieved through emergency response, education, research and planning.

Natural Resources Defense Council: NRDC uses law, science, and the support of more than 500,000 members nationwide to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places.

Partners in Flight: Partners In Flight is a cooperative effort involving partnerships among federal, state and local government agencies, philanthropic foundations, professional organizations, conservation groups, industry, the academic community, and private individuals.

Saltwater Tides: a source for tide, moon, and sun predictions for the Gulf Coast, US East Coast and US West Coast. Predictions for over 2500 locations. The tides are presented so that it is easy to print them.

WildAid: WildAid provides direct protection to wildlife in danger, through wildlife law enforcement, habitat protection, education and community outreach.