San Mateo County Bio-Blitz's News

September 21, 2019


First - BioBlitz on Saturday September 28 at Flood Park in Menlo Park - a small, manageable, urban Blitz. Great for introducing people to our favorite productive pastime. Here is a link to the journal for that project. Be there next Saturday for all the fun! ADA accessible, btw, since many pathways in the park are paved, and all are level.

P.S. Possible afternoon hike for iNaturalist addicts to follow.

Second - The President of the American Birding Association, Jeffrey Gordon, will be speaking in Belmont on Friday October 11. This event is free to the public (donations accepted), ADA accessible.

Third - Sunday October 13 - Green Birding with the Big EASY Ride, and Stable Birding with the Big SIT! at Pescadero Marsh. I'll post again about this before the event.

Posted on September 21, 2019 18:56 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 1 comments | Leave a comment

August 28, 2019

Save the Dates: Upcoming Events!

The San Mateo County BioBlitz project keeps chugging along - approaching a quarter of a million observations. From the deepest seas (Orca) to the deepest recesses of the Redwood Forests (Leopard Lily), you've been seeing and documenting rarities. Let's all get together and do it again, OK?

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday September 28 - BioBlitz at Flood Park, 215 Bay Road, Menlo Park, CA. This small urban county park is a wonderland of oak habitat. There is also, in/appropriately enough, some water-log problems at the park, which have created a haven for ground squirrels and insects. Lots of edge habitat. This is the perfect BioBlitz to bring youngsters to, since there is no difficult walking involved, and there are other things to distract the easily distracted (like playgrounds). We'll be starting a tad before 9:00 am. More information to follow.

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday October 13 for Sequoia Audubon's 9th Annual Big SIT! and Big (Easy) RIDE! This is one of our big fundraisers, but it is also a ton of fun. A group of birders sits all day atop the hill overlooking the North Pond at Pescadero State Beach and Marsh Natural Preserve, while another group bicycles from Gazos Creek Beach Access along Gazos Creek Road to Cloverdale, then down Pescadero Creek Road, stopping at numerous migratory hotspots. Contact @gyrrlfalcon for more information.

Posted on August 28, 2019 19:12 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 20, 2019

225,000 - You folks are amazing!

I go away for two weeks, and you GROW AWAY! 225,000 total observations as of this morning. San Mateo County BioBlitz project ROCKS! And our amazing @dpom (Donna Pomeroy) became the first individual to see more than 2000 species in the county. Awesome achievement, Donna!

Posted on June 20, 2019 17:23 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 3 comments | Leave a comment

April 24, 2019

City Nature Challenge - Two BioBlitzes in the County this Weekend

Hey San Mateo County iNaturalists!

This weekend is the amazing CITY NATURE CHALLENGE! Please upload as many observations as possible from Friday through Monday. We are defending our Triple Crown from last year, when the San Francisco Bay Area was in first place for number of observers, number of observations, and number of species.

We will also need assistance with identifications after the Blitz is over. Help out where you feel secure.

The first BioBlitz is on Friday, from 10 am to 1 pm, at Stulsaft Park in Redwood City along Farm Hill Boulevard. Here's the project link -

The second BioBlitz is at Huddart Park, from 9:00 am to 2 pm, concentrating on the eastern network of trails. Here's the project link -
From there you can go to the registration page.

Hope to see many of you out there.

Jennifer, a.k.a. gyrrlfalcon

Posted on April 24, 2019 04:51 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 18, 2019

The Second Huddart BioBlitz, and 200,000 observations in sight for San Mateo County!

Hope to see all of you at the Spring 2019 Huddart County Park BioBlitz, Saturday April 27. We'll be on the eastern side of the park this time. The trails are shorter, the habitats much more varied, and due to the winter rains, there are plenty of areas with running streams, moist logs, and flowering plants.

Sign up and join the project!

Before the end of this month, this project will have reached 200,000 observations. Great work everyone!

Jennifer (a.k.a. gyrrlfalcon)

Posted on April 18, 2019 06:05 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 1 comments | Leave a comment

March 11, 2019

Conservation Roundtable at Sequoia Audubon General Meeting March 14

I want to invite all participants in the San Mateo County Bio-Blitz project to share their energies and ideas at the Sequoia meeting this week. It is my personal opinion that community-scientist groups have much to contribute to local conservation projects, from data collection to monitoring to activism. Plus, we have some iNaturalist participants on the panel - @marshalldinowitz , @papiliogal , @janekim1 , @shani , and @joseph103

Environmental Protection is one of the key political and moral issues of our time, from climate change, to development and resource depletion. Some predictive models warn of mass extinctions and population collapse for many species. Sequoia Audubon Society has played an important role in our first seventy years, protecting San Mateo county habitat along the shores and in the Santa Cruz mountains. But what can and should we be doing over the next few decades?

On Thursday March 14, our general meeting will feature a panel of local environmental activists, all with an abiding interest in local habitat protection and avian conservation. Sequoia Audubon’s Conservation Committee chair, Marshall Dinowitz, will be joined by award-winning Amber Hasselbring of Nature in the City, renowned nature artist Jane Kim, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society’s highly successful Environmental Advocate, Shani Kleinhaus, and three of Sequoia Audubon’s finest advocates, each of whom has helped gain protection for birds and habitats in our county: Joe Morlan, Gary Deghi, and Kent Forward. They will share their successes, frustrations, and indicate ways for you (singly and collectively) to become involved, in big and small ways, in saving the planet.

Sequoia Audubon meets at the San Mateo Garden Center, 605 Parkside Way, just off the Alameda de las Pulgas in San Mateo. Meet-and-greet starts at 6:30, complete with delicious snacks and shade-grown coffee. The meeting proper starts at 7:00 PM. Free and open to all, accessible location, free parking. See you there - bring your energy, your curiosity, and your ideas.

Jennifer Rycenga

Posted on March 11, 2019 01:42 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 23, 2019

BioBlitz at Sam McDonald County Park on Saturday March 2nd

Calling all San Mateo County iNat-ters: Be There! Please! So many habitats, so underexplored, and so many fungi!

I intend to go back to the park after the roundup, and visit habitats that were underrepresented. If you'd like to join me, just leave a message here.

Sign up for the project here -

Sign up on Eventbrite - it's free, but this gives us a sense of carrying capacity

See you then! - Jennifer

Posted on February 23, 2019 02:44 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 8 comments | Leave a comment

January 13, 2019

Be on the lookout for Beavers in San Mateo county!

Dear iNat San Mateo County participants -

Today, while searching for rare birds along Butano Creek in Pescadero, I met a researcher, Brendan, who is trying to determine the status of Beaver in our county. Any records - including historical data and private communication - would help him. I couldn't recall any sightings here, and he checked the data base to confirm this. Post to this journal if you see beavers, or signs of beavers. Thanks for marshaling the power of citizen-science!

Jennifer Rycenga (a.k.a. gyrrlfalcon)

Posted on January 13, 2019 03:05 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 4 comments | Leave a comment

January 02, 2019

New Challenge for filling out the data base in 2019

First of all, Happy New Year Lists! May 2019 be another successful year for this most successful project!

Second, I learned of something called the Five-Mile Radius Challenge. It came from a blog called I Used to Hate Birds, and was picked up by some iNatters. Here's an example of it:

The goal is to focus on areas around your house, and look for under-eBirded and under-iNat-ted zones, as well as visiting the parks closest to you. If everyone in the country did this, we'd have a lot better coverage, and therefore a better picture of biodiversity. Of course, here in San Mateo county, as leaders in citizen-science projects, we are already ahead of the curve on the question of coverage. But this Five-Mile Radius Challenge has the added advantage of being "Green" - requiring less consumption of fossil fuel, and being more open to walking, cycling, public transit, and car-pooling.

Just another thing to think about, as we move forward in the New Year!

Posted on January 02, 2019 16:24 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 4 comments | Leave a comment

December 14, 2018

Tidbits Galore to Fill Your Stockings...or your insect nets, or your bird nests...

So, dear San Mateo County participants - Our bioblitz projects in conjunction with California Academy of Sciences, Sequoia Audubon Society, and San Mateo County Parks, have now been combined into an automatic conglomerating project. No need to join, but it makes for an interesting visit to see what we have achieved through our dedicated efforts to chronicle life in our small slice of the planet.

With the recent rains, our county has turned into a fungal paradise. We need the good fungi IDers to take a look at the sightings of the past week - @damontighe , @leslie_flint , @alan_rockefeller - and anyone else you can think of, please tag them in the comments section.

It is also fun to look at the map of sightings, and zoom in to see where sightings are at their densest. Gazos Creek Road, for instance, is rich with sightings. Everywhere we've blitzed is likewise rich with sightings. We keep turning up new areas due to intrepid exploration and avid iNat-ters whose knowledge of a wide range of taxa grows constantly. Please feel free to report on new areas you find. Yesterday, I walked the full length of the Old Stage Road trail at Sam McDonald County Park, from Pescadero Road to SR 84. There were quite a few intriguing areas - easy access to Alpine Creek, a large water tank with moist ground around it, a few human dwellings with a handful of introduced plants near to SR84. Who knows what all could be there, especially as the seasons change. With citizen-science, both methods pay dividends - going back to the same sites many times in order to get a longitudinal sense (over time) of what occurs there, and exploring new sites so that we fill out distribution maps in ever greater detail.

Please put our two 2019 bioblitzes on your calendars - March 2 at Sam McDonald (meet in the main parking lot at 8:45) and April 27 at Huddart Park (use the main entrance and follow the signs to the meeting place, 8:45). The latter will be part of the City Nature Challenge weekend. Support the Bay Area as we look to snag back-to-back championships!

Thanks for all you are doing to document life in San Mateo County. At last night's Sequoia Audubon Society general meeting, we had a panel discussion about the history of our Christmas Bird Counts. One of the people who is a goo record keeper, and a participant in CBCs (and therefore citizen-science) since 1969, is also a fine record-keeper. He astounded us all by saying that in the mid-1970s, there were CBCs in this county that had not a single American Crow nor a Common Raven! This is in his lifetime (and he's still in his 60s now), so this is a vivid marker of how much things can change. What we do today, even in our leisure, can tell a story to generations yet to come about the biology of this area. Happy holidays and make a New Year's Resolution to iNat more and more! - @gyrrlfalcon - Jennifer Rycenga

Posted on December 14, 2018 18:48 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 0 comments | Leave a comment