Reserve Tesla Park

Reserve Tesla Park

In 2021, Golden Gate Bird Alliance and its allies successfully advocated to save the Alameda-Tesla property (Tesla Park) from off-road vehicle use. Now we need your help to convince the California State Parks Department to classify Tesla Park as a Reserve.

Classifying the 3,100 acre site as a Reserve will ensure the parks department prioritizes protecting wildlife, habitat, and cultural and spiritual indigenous resources, while still allowing lower impact activities like; hiking, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and educational tours.

Tesla Park is home to 35 rare plant species, 7 sensitive vegetation communities and 50 special status wildlife species including the Golden Eagle, making it an important ecological site worth protecting.

Let’s make Tesla Park the first State Park Reserve in the region!

1. Email California State Parks

Contact California State Parks Department to let them know you want Tesla Park to be classified as a Reserve. Click the button to get an email template with messaging to help you start or see the sample text below!

2. Take Alameda-Tesla Plan Survey

Taking this survey will help determine what activities are allowed in Tesla Park and what classification it should receive. Read this survey guidance document to ensure your answers lead to a “Reserve” result!

Our New Name

Berkeley Bird Festival 2022 – Darwin Mayhew

Welcome to Golden Gate Bird Alliance! 

After months of deliberation and outreach, our new name was ratified by members on August 17 during an Annual Member Meeting at the David Brower Center in Berkeley.

Throughout our process to find a new name, we were reminded over and over again from our members and the community-at-large that we don’t do this conservation work alone. Rather, we do this work to protect birds and their habitat together. This is what it means to be an alliance.

Golden Gate Bird Alliance embodies our legacy, mission, and values.

— Golden Gate provides continuity with the past and honors our chapter’s geographic region and ecology. The strait connecting San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean reminds us that our work at a local level has impacts far beyond our own backyard.

— Bird explicitly conveys our mission. For those unfamiliar with our work, know that we work to protect birds and their habitats.

— Alliance implies collaboration by a broad community of people working together on behalf of birds and wildlife. Not only are we a part of a larger network of bird conservation organizations across the country, we also work alongside other environmental organizations, partner with local chapters, and depend on our own membership to grow and diversify to successfully achieve our mission.

How did we choose our new name?

1. A New Name Committee was formed. The committee was comprised of 3 Golden Gate Bird Alliance staff (Clayton Anderson, Ryan Nakano, and Whitney Grover), 2 Board Members (Eric Schroeder and Tara McIntire), and 7 members solicited from the Golden Gate Bird Alliance new name emails sent out in March and April 2023. The committee represented a range of ages, racial and ethnic identities, and familiarity levels with the organization.

The committee met weekly from May 24, 2023 – July 26, 2023. Transparency was an important part of our process, you can read the committee’s full meeting minutes here. Our goal was to hear from the wide range of perspectives and voices across our region and beyond.

2. The committee built a framework for new names. Here is the framework.

3. Focus Group Feedback. With the assistance of a professional focus group moderator who offered her services pro bono, the New Name Committee created a list of questions to solicit feedback from 3 small focus groups.…

Bald Eagle Information and Guidelines

Bald Eagle Information and Guidelines

Bald Eagles at Corica Park Golf Course

Update:  Bald Eagle egg(s) have been laid!  More info below. 

Bald Eagles are nesting at Corica Park golf course in Alameda, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! Bald Eagles, a symbol of our nation, were once rare in most parts of the US, including in the San Francisco Bay Area, due to pesticides, habitat destruction and hunting. Fortunately, they have made a tremendous comeback through environmental protections, including the banning of DDT. In recent years the Bay Area has seen Bald Eagle nests in Milpitas and at Lake Chabot, Ardenwood and Del Valle Regional Parks.  Now a pair are tending eggs in a nest in Alameda in the middle of our dense urban Bay Area.

While Bald Eagle populations are expanding, these birds still need the support of conservation efforts, and continue to be protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As of March 2023, the Alameda eagles have accepted some activities in the vicinity of their chosen nest, but careful precautions are needed through their nesting period.

Update:  Our eagles have eggs!  On March 1, for the first time, one of the GGBA monitors observed incubation activity in the eagles’ nest on the North Course, which has developed into their preferred nest.  We have observed that one of the eagles is on the nest almost all the time, and the eagle tending the eggs is hunched down in the nest, frequently almost invisible except when moving.   According to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, the incubation period is 34 – 36 days.  If we are correct about the date incubation started, and all goes well, the eggs would be expected to hatch in the first part of April.  The nestlings will likely be invisible to us in the nest for at least the first 10 days after they hatch.  

The typical number of eggs laid by Bald Eagles is between 1 and 3.  We cannot tell how many eggs our pair is incubating.  The pair shares parenting duties, switching places at the nest so each has a chance to hunt, eat and take a break. 

The female of our pair has been identified by the Milpitas eagle watchers as Big Junior, who was hatched in Milpitas in March 2019.  (Thank you, Milpitas!) The identification was made using some unique physical characteristics she has.  This means she is young to be breeding, and this is very likely her first nesting attempt. 

Become a Lake Merritt Docent

Become a Lake Merritt Docent

Introduce Oakland residents to the birds of Lake Merritt! We’re currently seeking volunteers to serve as Lake Merritt docents from November through February, when the lake has its more abundant bird life.  A training session will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, October 19 at 7 p.m.

Lake Merritt docentsLake Merritt docents

What’s involved? Together with another volunteer, you’ll spend two hours on some Saturday mornings (10 a.m. to noon) along the lake with a spotting scope and brochures about the ducks and other birds of Lake Merritt. You’ll chat with passersby who are interested, help them spot birds in the scope, and tell them a little bit about these birds and what they’re doing here on the lake.

Choose which Saturdays between November and February work for your schedule. We’re aiming to have docents present on about two Saturdays each month. You do NOT need to be an expert birder, just someone who is enthusiastic about birds and willing to share your interest! We’ll provide you with information about the lake and its bird life during the training.

If you’re interested or have questions, please contact our Adult Education Chair Maureen Lahiff at

Did you know… Lake Merritt was the first officially-designated wildlife refuge in the U.S.? In 1870, at the request of local residents including Oakland’s mayor, the State of California created the Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge and prohibited waterfowl hunting there. 

Volunteer with Eco-Education

Volunteer with Eco-Education

Introduce young people to the wonder of birds and nature as a volunteer with our Eco-Education program!

We’re holding a training session on Wednesday, August 25 in preparation for the 2021-22 school year. Under the leadership of our Youth Education Manager Clay Anderson, accompany elementary school classes on field trips in San Francisco, Oakland, or Richmond.

Eco-Ed volunteer and studentsEco-Ed volunteer and students from 2019, before the Covid pandemic. Photo by Katherine briccetti.

This is a great volunteer opportunity if you need a flexible schedule because of travel or work. What’s needed: Commit to accompany at least one field trip each month between October-December and March-May. Choose days and locations that work for your schedule; trips last from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

You do NOT need to be an expert birder. You DO need a love of nature, a willingness to get down in the dirt helping kids plant native plants, and an ability to talk with them on a very basic level about pollution in our natural environment.

For details, email Clay at If you’re unable to attend the training on August 25, we can arrange for you to get trained by shadowing an experienced volunteer on a field trip during the year.

Marissa Ortega-Welch with Eco-Ed students / Photo by Pipi Ray Diamond

Eco-Ed students at Point Pinole / Photo by Eva Guralnick…

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