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.

Monarchs are Still Visiting the Garden

It’s getting late in the season, but we still have Monarch larvae and pupae in the garden. The GNG has been transitioning from Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) to California native Narrow-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) over the past two seasons. It now looks like we will have […]

Tiny Trashline Orbweavers

Spiders are quite vulnerable while waiting in their webs, so different strategies have evolved to prevent being eaten by predators. Tiny Trashline Orbweavers can be common this time of year and their “trash” laden webs can be found all over the garden. These orbweavers rely […]

Alligator Lizard

Alligator lizards can be found in almost any habitat throughout much of California and being fairly large, they are frequently seen in yards and garages throughout our area.  As with all of our lizards, they are beneficial to a garden’s well balanced ecosystem. Recently, Alligator […]

Bordered Mantis

This sub-adult Bordered Mantis is one of our native praying mantises. The majority of praying mantises found in gardens around the Los Angeles area are not native to the US.  This is because nurseries and garden centers sell mostly oriental mantis egg-cases for organic insect […]

Lesser Goldfinches are Back!

After months of refusing to eat Nyjer (Guizotia abyssinica) seed, Lesser Goldfinches have returned to feeders in a big way.  It’s not fully understood why goldfinches sometimes stay away from Nyjer; this time it might have had something to do with last winter’s rains producing […]

Pacific Coast Tick

This Pacific Coast Tick is a three host tick which commonly feeds on rodents, especially squirrels as subadults, and on horses, deer, and humans as adults. This is one of the most widely distributed ticks in California and is found throughout most of the state. […]

U.C. Davis Hummingbird Study

The U.C. Davis Hummingbird Crew (Lisa Tell and her team!) were in the yard once again, collecting data for an on-going study of California hummingbirds.  The GNG hummingbirds seemed to hold-up very nicely as they offered-up important information such as weight, measurements of beak, wings […]

Empidonax, or Empid Flycatchers – Sometimes a Real ID Challenge

When it comes to the Empidonax group of flycatchers found in Southern California, the Pacific-slope Flycatcher is the easiest to identify. Empids can be a real challenge because, for the most part, they are all small yellowish birds with with buffy wingbars. The main feature […]

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawks

A couple of months ago, biologist Dan Cooper brought to our attention that a pair of Red-tailed Hawks had nested in the canyon below the GNG.  Well, they successfully fledged two chicks and now the two siblings are spending a lot of time in the […]

July Nocturnal Species Review

Summer is a great time to explore the garden at night, and as usual, our latest nocturnal species review didn’t disappoint! Standouts were the abundant spiders and moths. Eight species of spiders were observed as they busily worked their night shift.  We are still working […]