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.

Bathing Hooded Orioles

Hooded Orioles will begin leaving the Los Angeles area by mid-summer, heading down to their wintering grounds in Western Mexico.  Adult males can begin leaving as early as late July, with females and juveniles beginning to depart in late August.  Here two adults enjoy a […]

Providing Protein for Growing Chicks

Even late into June, many bird species are still feeding young, some on their second or third broods.  The mealworm feeders are kept well stocked as appreciative parents collect food for their young. Six species visit the mealworm feeders regularly, including the elusive Wrentit.  This remarkably […]

Packrat in the Garden

A California native, the nocturnal Big-eared Woodrat lives in dense vegetation, preferably in oak woodland habitat. To build their nest, they collect and accumulate sticks, leaves, bark or any available small object. Over time these nest-piles can become quite eclectic and grow very large in […]

Dragonfly takes over the Pond

Many insects take advantage of the GNG pond.  Not only is this dragonfly taking advantage of the pond’s eco-system, it’s doing so by hunting the very insects that the pond attracts.  Taking its size into account, nothing on earth can out-perform a dragonfly’s phenomenal aerial capabilities! Neon […]

European Honey Bee Management

Managing bees in the GNG is a constant issue.  Although European Honey Bees are an important crop plant pollinator, they are as their name implies “non-native”.  Our native bees (which for the most part are solitary, not social) have evolved to pollinate our native plants […]

Dark-eyed “Oregon” Junco

Dark-eyed Juncos are active breeders in the GNG and are not shy as they move about the area.  Here a junco surveys the grounds from one of the many trail cameras used to automatically capture the garden’s abundan wildlife. Dark-eyed Junco ♂

Bushtits Take a Bath

Bushtits are social birds that travel in flocks for most of the year. During breeding season they break-up into smaller groups and will sometimes cooperatively nest.  It’s clear by this video just how social this bird really is!

Great Horned Owl

For the last couple of months, adult Great Horned Owls have been seen regularly in the garden and we were convinced that a nest was in the area.  Although the nest site was never found, three fledglings were recently observed begging for food.  Here mom, […]

Mule Deer

Mule Deer are common throughout the Santa Monica Mountains, this buck and doe were caught walking a trail at the bottom of the property.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeaks are neotropical migrants that begin to arrive in late March. Once here, they quickly stake out their breeding territories by singing from high perches. Black-headed Grosbeaks are dimorphic, so this bathing female has very different looking plumage than her male counterpart.