Go Stanford! — Stanford v. Berkeley birdathon 4/13

How many bird species are on Stanford’s campus on a spring morning?  I’ll tell you soon enough!  This Sunday is Birding’s Big Game.  4 hours, 1 Stanford team, 1 UC Berkeley team, 60+ species.  I’ll be coordinating the Stanford side of things, working with an awesome crew of a dozen birders: alumni, undergrads, grad students, community members, oh yeah!  I’m lucky to have such great birders helping, since the critical mission is to BEAT CAL in bird diversity.  Football’s not enough — we need to hit them where it really hurts.  In the birds.

Do you want kids to learn more about nature?  Do you want to protect unique bay area habitats?  SPONSOR US!  The money goes to youth nature education projects and conservation work in the southern Bay Area, run by the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society (I love them!).  You can do it online here.  Just select my name (Rob Furrow) from the pull down tab and make a donation using paypal.  If you want to make a per-bird donation (10 cents, 50 cents?), you can wait for the results and donate then.  And if you don’t like paypal, you can give me a check in person, made out to SCVAS.  Thanks!


Okay, down to the brass tacks.  How can we optimize coverage of Stanford’s campus?  We have a few key habitats.  Oak savanna and grassland, of particularly high quality along Stanford’s dish trail.  Riparian with some willows and alders along San Francisquito Creek.  Brushy edges.  Extensive eucalyptus groves.  A few migrant traps.  To cover it all, we’ll split into two teams.

Team 1 tackles the creekside habitat and the mish-mash of Stanford’s main campus.  We’ll hope for migrants, woodpeckers, Hooded and Bullock’s Oriole, and some Brown Creepers making a breeding attempt behind eucalyptus bark.

The basic route for team 1

The basic route for team 1

Team 2 covers the dish trails, and the lovely riparian where the trail meets Alpine Road.  Lots of excellent grassland with great chances for hawks, kites, falcons, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Western Kingbird, maybe even a Grasshopper Sparrow.

The outline of team 2's route

The outline of team 2’s route

Wish us luck!

-Rob Furrow


3 thoughts on “Go Stanford! — Stanford v. Berkeley birdathon 4/13

  1. Lisa Potter

    Hi Rob,

    My name is Lisa Potter, a science writing student at UC Santa Cruz. I am writing a piece about Green Birding and its role in conservation, recreation and its overall coolness.

    I would love to speak with you about it. If you’re interested, please email me! I look forward to speaking with you.



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