The Naturalist’s Journal

What's Happening "Fauna-wise" in the Garden

As the Gottlieb Native Garden’s naturalist, Scott Logan documents the ever-changing array of wildlife species as they vary with the garden’s blooms, seasons and migratory patterns. While bringing these observations to life for all to experience, he also coordinates scientific research projects, and monitors the overall health and biodiversity of the garden. The Naturalist’s Journal also highlights the work the Gottliebs and Scott are doing to educate and inspire people to start gardening for wildlife with native plants.

Hooded Oriole season is nearly over

Sadly, Hooded Orioles will begin their departure from California any day now. The adult males will head out first, then in few weeks, mom and her kids will depart. Right now, adults and fledglings alike are fatting-up in advance of their 2000 mile southeast-ward journey […]

The Garden’s Great Horned Owls

The garden’s resident pair of Great Horned Owls has been doing their back and forth duet calls in the late afternoon for over two weeks now.  I don’t ever remember them being so vocal this early in the day for such a constant period of time. […]

Western tiger swallowtail and Catalina cherry

A female Western tiger swallowtail recently laid her eggs on one of the Catalina cherry (Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii) bushes. A few weeks have passed and there is now many larvae munching away on the leaves. This plant produces some of my most favorite eatables […]

Western Screech-Owl Box?

European honey bees have a really annoying tendency to steal habitat that is intended for other native animals…

Valley carpenter bee

Valley carpenter bees are common in the garden now, and will continue to be so through the fall. They are easy to spot as they are the largest bees found in California, measuring up to an inch in length. Be careful of the metallic black […]

9th Species of bat confirmed

Two of our ultrasonic recorders captured calls from a bat that I didn’t recognize and I knew right away that we had a new species. The sonograms indicated that there was a good chance the calls came from a Western Mastiff Bat. I sent the […]

Chestnut-sided Warbler!!

One of our trail video cameras just captured an really awesome bird, a Chestnut-sided Warbler!  Clearly VERY lost, this probable first-year female (thanks Kimball @nhmla) stopped in the garden to take a bath during its wayward migration.  How birds like this end-up in California is not completely […]

Western Tanagers have arrived

Waves of spring migrants have been moving through the garden since the end of February, and now it’s the Western Tanager’s turn. Everyone enjoys washing-up while traveling and this water feature is a favorite respite for these avian voyagers.

Some will stay, others will move through

It’s been a great season for Rufous Hummingbirds in Southern California. These long-distance migrants started showing-up in late February and we are still seeing them in the garden every day. In the video below, a Rufous and Allen’s Hummingbird tussle over a feeder port. The […]

slender salamanders

Recent rains have dampened the soil enough to bring slender salamanders up to the surface from their moist hiding places. After spending the past 7 months or so underground, they are now out and about looking for food and love. Weather conditions have been perfect, […]