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THE OUTDOORS ALMANAC | MIGRATIONS

September 09, 2003

San FRANCISCO'S Hawk Hill is about to earn its name. Again. Every fall, bird buffs flock to see the dozens, if not hundreds, of migrating raptors likely to whiz by over the course of a carefully nursed cappuccino. Osprey, golden eagles, northern harriers -- they all wing over this knob in the Marin Headlands, located a few miles from the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. But you'll never know whether the peregrine falcon you see is bound for Argentina or just a Bay Area regular doing lunch. Allen Fish, director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory in San Francisco, says it's such an entertaining time on the hill that he plans to make a recording -- of the crowds, not the birds. "Raptor people are bizarre," Fish says. "They're loud, clamoring, enthusiastic, jump-out-of-your-skin people. They whoop and holler for a little kestrel." Observatory docents provide information on the basics of migration during weekend programs in September and October. For more information, call (415) 331-0730 or visit www.ggro.org on the Web.

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