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.

Unusual Striped Skunk

Sometimes you are able to pick-out some unique marking on an animal that allows you to identify it as an individual.  This beautiful Striped Skunk’s fur coloration makes it easy to distinguish from other skunks and is an old friend of the garden, hunting grubs for […]

Oak Titmouse with Caterpillar

A sure sign that you have a nest in your yard is continually seeing a bird carrying insects in its beak. Most all small birds feed their young insects, even if they are seed eaters like finches.  We have been watching an Oak Titmouse couple collecting insects […]

Baja California Tree Frogs

This has been a really good season for Baja Tree Frogs in the GNG.  We have had the on and off for years, but with the abundant rain this year the have been plentiful.  A stream runs through the canyon below creating good habitat for California’s “chorus” […]

Forster’s Terns

It was a nice surprise to see pair of terns over the garden today. Forster’s Terns are on the move from coastal waters where they have been wintering, to marshy areas inland where they breed. During breeding season, they can be found practically over the […]

8 Species of Bats have now been Positively identified!

We have 8 species of bats visiting the garden on a regular basis, and are now working on vetting the 9th.  Clearly, the diversity of flying insects supported by the diversity our native plants is making a diverse group of mammals very happy!   The […]

A Recent Red-tailed Hawk Addition

A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk has claimed new territory, and the GNG has become its base camp. There is a pair of adult red-tails that occasionally hunt in the garden, but they seem to be leaving this juvenile alone, allowing it to hunt un-harassed (un-harassed by […]

First Native Bee for the 2019 Season!

It’s official – our first 2019 native bee species to be seen in the garden is the Black-tailed Bumble Bee! Surely a queen, this bee was busy collecting pollen to start her new colony. With all of the rain we’ve having, I hope she found […]

animals that cannot survive without moisture

As our rain continues, moisture travels to deeper levels in the soil and awakes one of our favorite amphibians – the slender salamander. Slender salamanders do not breathe through lungs, they breathe through their skin and the tissues lining their mouth. This requires them to […]

Sharp-shinned Hawk

The smallest hawk species found in North America is the Sharp-shinned Hawk (males can weigh as little as 3 oz). During the winter months, we will see these raptors in the GNG from time to time. This juvenile (most likely a female due to her […]

Finally, a full week of rain!

We received our first solid set of storms for the 2018-2019 season and wildlife is rejoicing – except for maybe this coyote seen sneaking into the yard during a nighttime shower. Coyote – Canis latrans California chaparral and woodland plant communities react quickly to rain […]