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.

Animals Leave Clues…

…and a feather is a good one.  We found this down feather blowing in the breeze recently.  The color scheme of faint brownish stripes against pale-yellow on this large down feather points to Great Horned Owl.  We’ll keep alert for other signs that this raptor […]

White-lined Sphinx Moths

During a nocturnal GNG species review a few weeks ago, we were surprised at how many White-lined Sphinx moths were seen during the evening. Over two-dozens of these large, beautiful moths were attracted to our UV light sheets.  Seeing all of these adults was a […]

Yikes – So Many Crane Flies!

With all of the rain that we had this past winter came crane flies (their larvae, for the most part, feed on moist dead plant matter).  Seems that anywhere you look, there they are. Crane flies are in the family Tipulidae, one of the largest […]

Spring is Still in the Air

Two Band-tailed Pigeons enjoy a quiet moment together…

Voice of the Chaparral

The Wrentit is long-lived, year-round resident of coastal scrub and chaparral throughout the western US. Wrentits hold the distinction as being the most sedentary species of birds in North America, with an average territory of a couple hundred square yards. Pairs are exceedingly faithful to […]

Happy to see a Snake in the Garden

Gopher snakes, as with most snakes, should be a welcome sight to any homeowner. Gopher snakes are active almost any time of day or night during warm periods. They make their living on mostly small mammals, especially pocket gophers, rats, moles and mice. Gopher snakes are constrictors, […]

Scaredy Cat!

In the last few weeks, one of our trail cams (positioned in the lower back garden) has been capturing a neighbor’s cat.  This cat enjoys exploring nocturnally – a risky business when you live in an area with many large predators and in the clip […]

Oak Titmouse shows Fox Squirrel Who’s Boss

Eastern Fox Squirrels can and will rob nests, but in the video below, this bad-boy finds out what happens when you stick your nose in the wrong place – you get walloped!  A secure nesting box gives the occupant a fighting chance against predators.  In this […]

Not a Busy Spring for Migrants so far…

Not a busy spring for migrants so far – they just seem to only be trickling through this year.  This Black-throated Gray Warbler was one of only 5 migratory warblers seen in the yard today. Black-throated Gray Warbler

Common Poorwill

It’s breeding season for many species of birds, and the includes the night crew.  This male Common Poorwill has been calling continuously every night for weeks now and we see him flying after dark from time to time. A few nights ago he finally sat […]