The Naturalist’s Journal

What's Happening 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.

Late Afternoon Black Phoebe

We have a sweet, new bird hunting insects in the garden – we couldn’t be happier!

Munias Have Returned

Scaly-breasted Munia or Nutmeg Mannikin or Spice Finch or Spotted Finch With its many names, this non-native bird (endemic to Asia) might be best called by its latin name Lonchura punctulata.  It has been added to the California Bird Records Committee State List with the common […]

Turkey Vulture

Although we have never seen one in the garden itself, Turkey Vultures are seen often soaring above the GNG.  Easily identified by their characteristic wobbly, unsteady flight (when they have empty stomachs), Turkey Vultures ride thermals to conserve energy, usually while in the pursuit of […]

Brown Widow Spider

Below, a Brown Widow Spider waits for prey in its seemingly haphazard tangle web, the typical design of all comb footed spider webs.  A recent spider survey in the GNG found well over 100 Brown Widows, and not a single Black Widow.  It is not […]

Displaying Painted Tiger Moth

This is the time of year to find tiger moths in Los Angeles – and there is no shortage of them in the GNG.  If you give them a little nudge while they are trying to find a mate, you might be surprised when they […]

Teenage Great Horned Owl

A pair of Great Horned Owls raised two chicks in the GNG this past season.  We were lucky enough to watch as the youngsters learned the ways of our urban jungle.  Their parents drove them off about a month ago as they will tolerate chicks […]

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 […]