The Gottlieb Native Garden

a california love story

The Gottlieb Native Garden is a flourishing ecosystem belonging to Susan and Dan Gottlieb, friends of flora and fauna and devoted environmental philanthropists. With more than 100 hand-selected plant species and hundreds of animal species, the backyard is a National Wildlife Federation-certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat and a Xerces Society-designated Pollinator Habitat.

Bats Hunt Above the Garden

Some may wonder how we know what bats are flying above the GNG. We record their echolocation calls.  These recordings are run through software that creates a sonogram, which is then annualized by classification software.  Although the software algorithms are quite accurate, we confirm the results by visually looking at the sonogram on a computer screen.

This recording of a Mexican Free-tailed bat hunting in the GNG demonstrates how it zeros-in on flying prey by stretching-out the frequency and compressng the intervals between its calls, thus creating much higher resolution echoes off its target.


The most common bat recorded in the garden (our recording unit is pictured here) is the Canyon bat, followed by Mexican Free-tailed bats. Recently, over a two-week period, we got recordings of a Yuma myotis.  This was surprising because this small bat is usually associated with flowing or open water environments. 

The screenshot above is a sonogram created by a recording made in the GNG of a Yuma myotis.  The red arrow points to the bat's calls.