LAB 7: Independent Field Excursion

Golden Gate Park

May 25, 2020

Lat: 37.76, Long: -122.48, Acc: 24 m

Site – 

  • Topography: relatively flat, minor changes in elevation
  • General Habitat: grassland, Eucalyptus/Pine forest

Species 1 – Japanese Cherry (Prunus serrulata)

Species 2 – Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)

Species 3 – Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans)

Species 4 – Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Species 5 – Crimson Bottlebrush (Melaleuca citrina)

Species 6 – Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Detailed Species Description:

  • Observations: Two hawks flying in a pair – darker body feathers with brighter orange tail feathers – gradually following each other to higher elevation, then diving down, closely following one after the other, occasional calls, this “play/monitoring” cycle repeated without rest
  • A fellow passerby mentioned that it is currently the Red-tailed Hawk’s nesting season, so she had been seeing them more recently in the area
  • Observed in the sky at Lat: 37.76 Long: -122.48 Acc: 6 m, about 50 m from Elk Glen Lake
  • Information gathered from “All About Birds” Cornell Lab https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-tailed_Hawk/id
    • Size & Shape: large hawks with broad, rounded wings, and short, wide tail
    • Coloring: rich brown body, pale under, red tail
    • Behavior: soar in wide circles high above a field, attack in a slow, controlled dive
      • generally monogamous, they initiate courtship and maintain the pair bond with aerial maneuvers performed by both members of the pair
      • migration is diurnal, depending on weather, with northern populations traveling south
    • Distribution: most widespread birds of prey in North America

Narrative –

I left my house around 1 pm and walked three blocks to the 19th Ave entrance to Golden Gate Park. I was prepared with my hand sanitizer and I observed many people out, either alone or in pairs, on their way to the park. Throughout my excursion, I noticed that people were very mindful of keeping distance and I gladly found myself alone on the trail for most of my walk. It was blue skies and sunny out, but the air was still brisk, which was a refreshing change from being inside. It was also nice to get outside and have a change of perspective. When I was on my walk, I realized how beautiful and unfazed nature was and it was nice to find a place of peace, especially with everything going on in the world right now.

The specific path I took on my excursion

The area of Golden Gate Park I explored