San Francisco Bay’s first big herring run is a treat for birds and birders

January 9th, 2013 · by Garrison Frost

A few of us from Audubon California went out to the San Francisco Bay shoreline this morning to check out perhaps the first big herring run of the season. Our first visit was Agua Vista Park, where the fish were plentiful, much to the delight of birds and fishermen alike. Check out the video our own Anna Weinstein shot from the scene:

While we were there, we met with San Francisco birder Josiah Clark, who knows a ton about gulls. He took us over to Warm Water Cove, where the birds were even more plentiful. The photo at the top is of a flock of Mew Gulls hanging out after feeding. There, Clark gave us a short primer on watching gulls during herring runs:

It’s good to see the herring running like this. Not long ago, the fishery was in deep trouble — but thanks to better ocean conditions and improved management we’re seeing a modest recovery. Audubon California is partnering with the fishing community and the California Fish and Wildlife Department to ensure that these food resources for birds and other wildlife are plentiful.

At Warm Water Cove, we also saw a lot of scaup, including this bunch diving for roe:

But, yeah, there were a lot of gulls, too:

Categories: Audubon California · S.F. Bay · seabirds

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