From our blogs

Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day 2020 • September 29, 2020

Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 was Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day! (But we are celebrating all week!)

A day to celebrate, you guessed it, URBAN National Wildlife Refuges! But what constitutes an Urban NWR exactly? And, why are they so special?

At-home Activity: Habitats & Food Chains

Wetland Diorama

This activity is great for parents to do with their kids at home, or for teachers to implement into their curriculum for students. Explore a local habitat and learn about a special bird that lives there, then create your own habitat and learn about the importance of food chains!

Celebrate Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day 2020 with online events

Join us this weekend in celebrating National Public Lands Day (Saturday, September 26) and Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day (Tuesday, September 29! We have lots of fun virtual, at-home, and self-guided on-Refuge activities for you to participate in!

DIY Binoculars and Bird Scavenger Hunt

Recycle your toilet paper rolls and turn them into your very own pair of binoculars! Then take them outside and use them to find birds, and signs of birds! Birds are incredibly important ecosystem contributors and we have over 280 species that live or stop at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge!

⮇ Click here to download the DIY Binoculars activity sheet (PDF 6 MB) ⮇

Drawbridge: History & Virtual Tour

Saturday, September 26th 10am
Sunday, September 27th 1pm
Join Ceal Craig, San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society Board President, for a special opportunity to dive into the history of Drawbridge, a ghost town that once lived on an island along the South San Francisco Bay.
Presentation will be approximately 1 hour and will end with time for questions/discussion from participants. Direct link to the program will be provided via email after registration. Platform that will be used is Zoom. To learn more and register visit: https://virtualdrawbridge.eventbrite.com
Questions? Contact Hope at watershedwatchers@sfbayws.org

Volume 1 Issue 4 of Tide Rising, our quarterly newsletter, is ready

by Ceal Craig

Tide Rising: Volume 1, Issue 4, Summer 2020

Tide Rising: Volume 1, Issue 4, Summer 2020.

The San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society is happy to publish the third issue of its digital-only newsletter, Tide Rising: Volume 1, Issue 4, Summer 2020. This issue’s theme is Exploration & Learning.

In this issue:

  • Learn about the purpose and history of the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge from someone who dreamed about them as a teen.
  • Read the latest info on the Shoreline Levee Project in the southern part of Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (DESFBNWR)
  • Two Friends groups share their thoughts about the importance of supporting the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
  • Be inspired by a Community Science project studying insects and more.
  • Learn about Phase 2 of the Salt Pond Restoration Project.
  • More ideas to explore from home.
  • Read about our latest people of note.

Editors: Ceal Craig, PhD; Renee Fitzsimons
Contributors: Ceal Craig, Donna Ball (SFEI), Renee Fitzsimons, Aidona Kakouros (USFWS), Gerry McChesney (USFWS), Matt Brown (USFWS), SFBWS Staff.

Thanks for reading!

South Farallon Islands Invasive House Mouse Eradication Project

The Farallon Islands, part of San Francisco, are home to the largest colony of nesting seabirds in the contiguous United States. Credit Joshua Hull/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Located nearly 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco, Farallon Islands' craggy peaks and rocky shorelines are home to the largest colony of nesting seabirds in the contiguous United States. Credit Joshua Hull/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposes to eradicate invasive, introduced house mice (Mus musculus) from the South Farallon Islands and eliminate their negative impacts to the ecosystem of the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

Webinar

Join the Marin Audubon Society on July 16, 2020, 7:00 PM PST, for a webinar to learn more about the South Farallon Islands Invasive House Mouse Eradication Project.

The webinar will be via Zoom; registration is required.

Please click here for the webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kjXTUVbtTZ2TxZxIgz4LUA

Presentations will be made by scientists and land managers experienced with the Island's wildlife and the Restoration Plan:

* Gerry McChesney, Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
* Winston Vickers, DVM, MPVM, University of California, Davis
* Peter Warzybok, Farallones Program Leader, Point Blue Conservation Science
* Roger Harris, Certified Wildlife Biologist, Oceanic Society
* Anna Weinstein, Ocean Resources Director, National Audubon Society, as MC

Online Marsh-In Summer Camp! • August 3-7, 2020

The annual Marsh-In Summer Camp program held at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Environmental Education Center in Alviso is going online this year!

Join us for our first ever online summer camp program that combines technology and outdoor activities for a unique learning experience. Camp will be held from Monday, August 3 – Friday, August 7.

Online camp will consist of three live Zoom sessions (MWF 10:30 am - 11:30 am) as well as self-guided activities.

Discover, engage and learn!

Although we cannot host our traditional summer camp program this year, we still want to provide our community with an engaging and interactive learning opportunity. This year’s theme is Endangered Bird Species. We will be highlighting two bird species and two local National Wildlife Refuges. There will be live interactions with Refuge Rangers and self-guided activities.

Requirements

Campers must be entering grades 1-6 in Fall 2020, have access to the internet via a computer or tablet, and attend all days of camp. Activity materials will be mailed to you in a camp kit via USPS.

To apply

Please fill out this Google Form (one per family): https://forms.gle/J52W4QeXyTt1ZZaA6
Applications will be accepted through Tuesday, June 30th. Selections are made by lottery. Acceptance notifications will be sent on July 6th. Log-on instructions will be sent on July 29th and camp begins
on August 3rd.

Please email us directly at summercamp@sfbws.com with any questions.

Summer programming is sponsored by the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, a generous donation by Cargill, Inc., and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Celebrate #BlackBirdersWeek with online events • May 31 - June 5, 2020

Celebrate the inaugural #BlackBirdersWeek from May 31st-June 5th to celebrate black birders and nature explorers everywhere!

Use social media hashtags to participate and follow along in many inspiring stories straight from black birders and outdoor enthusiasts, while learning some exciting bird science:

Sunday, May 31: Kick off Black Birders Week with the hashtag #BlackInNature to celebrate black nature enthusiasts everywhere, showing what you love about nature and how you were introduced to it.

Monday, June 1: Participate in the #PostABird challenge. Include a fun fact about the bird you post. Your fact can range from folklore to weird biology!

Tuesday, June 2: Got a question about birds? #AskABlackBirder during a 2 hour Question & Answer session between 4 pm and 6 pm PST on Twitter.

Thursday, June 4: Get involved in a livestream discussion on Facebook at 9 am and 4 pm PST. There will be two candid conversations with a group of today's young black birdwatchers and special guests Christian Cooper and J. Drew Lanham. The panelists will share their stories of discovering birds and their unique experiences of #BirdingWhileBlack in America. Viewers may ask questions of the panelists through the live Facebook chat feature or on Twitter using the #BirdingWhileBlack hashtag. Discussion hosted by Brianna Amingwa and moderated by Ana Gifty.

Friday, June 5: After the inspiring events earlier in the week, you can continue to celebrate diversity in the outdoors by following #BlackWomenWhoBird.

The Majestic Monarch

The Monarch Butterfly, with its large orange wings, striking black veins, and white-dotted edges, is one of the most recognizable butterflies in North America. Monarchs are not only known for their beauty, but are also known for their amazing migration and overwintering behavior.

Monarch butterfly. Photo Credit: USFWS

Monarch butterfly. Photo Credit: USFWS

Make Salty’s Board Game and celebrate Endangered Species Day - May 15, 2020

Celebrate the anniversary of the Endangered Species Act which protects threatened and endangered species like the California tiger salamander, vernal pool tadpole shrimp, and the Contra Costa goldfield.

Learn more about one of the endangered species at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge -- the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, lovingly known as Salty.

Get crafty and make your own board game featuring the habitats, plants, and animals at the Refuge. Once you put your board game together, play with your family and loved ones. Send us your photos via an email to watershedwatchers@sfbws.com and we will send you a free sticker in the mail!

⮇ Click here to download the Salty Board Game (PDF 3.4 MB) ⮇

Salty Board Game

Explore the Upland - online interactive field trip activity

Note: This the fifth in our series of online interactive field trip activities to explore and discover the 5 habitats of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Teachers can send this online, interactive field trip activity to students or parents can give it to their kids.

Today we will be exploring the Upland habitat of the refuge, the wildlife in this habitat, and some fun facts.

Explore and discover the Upland habitat of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Excited? Let's get started!

Step #1: ⮇ Download the PowerPoint presentation (PPT 10 MB) ⮇ or click here for Google Slides if viewing online.
The presentation has bird calls, links to videos and websites with more information.
The PowerPoint will start in presentation mode, so it is ready for you to begin the activity right away! Click with your mouse or press the space bar key to move forward through the presentation. Clicking on button links will either play a bird call, or open up a webpage.

Step #2: ⮇ Download the worksheet (PDF 180 kB) ⮇
This will be used by the students to answer questions as they come up throughout the presentation. You can fill it in on your computer or print it out.
Read the Habitat information on the worksheet once you get to the habitat slide.

Step #3: ⮇ Download the answer key (PDF 190 kB) ⮇
Check your worksheet against this answer key.

Step #4 (optional): Once you finish learning about the habitat, send us your completed worksheet via an email to watershedwatchers@sfbws.com and we will send you a free sticker in the mail!

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