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.

Fern Trail Camera

I recently set up a camera trap on a newly formed trail leading into the Garden. I’m calling it the Fern Trail Cam.  It didn’t take long to get a candid shot of these Common Raccoons. Not sure what’s going on here, but the scene […]

Mom with her spiderlings

Most wolf spiders “care” for their offspring, sometimes up until their first molt. I was able to get a good picture of this wolf spider (species unknown) carrying her spiderlings. While I was positioning her onto a white background some babies fell off, but they […]

GNG mentioned in September’s NatGeo!

The Gottlieb Native Garden is mention in September’s 2022 issue of National Geographic Magazine. The cover story In a warming climate, we need to radically rethink how we conserve nature focus on new strategies for conservation. From working on climate change, eliminating pollution and restoring ecosystems, […]

bluebirds, flycatchers and Zen

Over the years, we have installed dozens of nest boxes throughout the Garden. These boxes target secondary cavity nesters – species of birds that nest inside hollow spaces but have no means to excavate the hollow themselves (like woodpeckers can). Of the 8 species in […]

Bioluminescent Coleoptera

Tribe Mastinocerini Genus unknown Douglas Fir Glow-Worm Pterotus obscuripennis California Pink Glowworm Microphotus angustus Western Banded Glowworm Zarhipis integripennis As of today, four different species of fireflies (which are actually beetles) have been discoved in the Garden – who knew THAT was possible in Los […]

Skilton’s Skink

Skinks are relatively common in the Santa Monica Mountains, but that doesn’t mean they are commonly seen. Like Fence Lizards, Skilton’s Skinks are diurnal. But unlike Fence Lizards, they are extremely secretive. Their habit of traveling through leaf litter, underneath bark or in underground burrows […]

Thirsty Band-tailed Pigeons

In order to drink, most birds need to fill their lower beak with water and tilt their heads back in order for the liquid to enter their throats. Not true for birds in the family Columbidae (pigeons and doves).  In the avian world, these birds […]


Even in rural and urban environments, Coyotes play an important role in rodent control. A good part of their diet consists of rodents (rabbits, gophers, rats, etc.). Yes, Coyotes will eat discarded food stuffs and go after small pets, but both of those issues can […]

Nocturnal Thermal Imaging 

Occasionally, we use a thermal imager to look for wildlife in the garden at night. The imager uses sensors that detect heat radiation (in the electromagnetic spectrum) that allows the operator see in the dark. It is a remarkable device. Mammals can be detected from […]

Over 1100 species!

I have stepped-up my species discovery and identification efforts (mostly concentrating on Arthropods) and have found more than 1100 species of animals in the garden to date. Shooting for 1500 species by mid 2022!     Hard to select a favorite from the list, but […]