If you think Google employees are just a bunch of tech geeks who never get outside, think again. More than 60 Googlers last week joined in a bird walk on the tech company's spacious Mountain View campus as part of a new program led by Audubon California and three Bay Area Audubon chapters. Google struck the partnership with Audubon to create monthly opportunities for its employees to enjoy birds, wildlife and native plants around their workplace. Napa-Solano Audubon, Santa Clara Valley Audubon and Sequoia Audubon are leading monthly bird walks for Google employees and organizing a Spring Birding Celebration for May 3rd.
Napa-Solano Audubon and Sequoia Audubon are also researching native plants to provide assistance to the tech company's employees who want to transform their backyards into wildlife habitat. Santa Clara Valley Audubon is helping to provide more habitat to birds on the Google campus by installing nest boxes.
Some of the employees who came to the first bird walk on Feb. 23 brought their children -- and there was even one dog in the group. A few employees brought their own binoculars, while others used loaner binoculars provided by Santa Clara Valley and Sequoia Audubon. Three groups took separate paths around the campus, spotting birds like a Red-breasted Sapsucker, Western Bluebird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Orange-crowned Warbler.
Participants on the walk were encouraged by their trip leader to become citizen scientists by entering the birds they saw into eBird. This first walk took place at noon, but future walks might be held in the morning or late afternoon hours to look for different species.