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.

Chestnut-sided Warbler!!

One of our trail video cameras just captured an really awesome bird, a Chestnut-sided Warbler!  Clearly VERY lost, this probable first-year female (thanks Kimball @nhmla) stopped in the garden to take a bath during its wayward migration.  How birds like this end-up in California is not completely […]

Western Tanagers have arrived

Waves of spring migrants have been moving through the garden since the end of February, and now it’s the Western Tanager’s turn. Everyone enjoys washing-up while traveling and this water feature is a favorite respite for these avian voyagers.

Some will stay, others will move through

It’s been a great season for Rufous Hummingbirds in Southern California. These long-distance migrants started showing-up in late February and we are still seeing them in the garden every day. In the video below, a Rufous and Allen’s Hummingbird tussle over a feeder port. The […]

slender salamanders

Recent rains have dampened the soil enough to bring slender salamanders up to the surface from their moist hiding places. After spending the past 7 months or so underground, they are now out and about looking for food and love. Weather conditions have been perfect, […]

Kingbird Migration

Cassin’s Kingbirds are lovely, large, noisy flycatchers that look very similar to Western Kingbirds. Both are spring migrants from Mexico, but a small population of Cassin’s resides in the Los Angeles basin year-round. During migration though, both of these kingbirds can show-up in large numbers […]

Rain equals more food for hummingbirds

Another storm brought much needed moisture to Southern California.  2020 storms have now dropped almost 4.5” of rain Los Angeles and the garden is looking magnificent.  The recent precipitation has produced a tremendous number of flowers, supplying the garden’s hummingbirds with much sugary calories.  Coral bells (heuchera sp.) […]

March storms bring needed rain!

Rejoice! Over the last ten days, two beautiful storms delivered over three inches of rain to the garden . It’s been so dry during the past few months that even this coyote seems perplexed by the newly wetted ground.

First Oriole of the season

Spring migration has officially begun! I got a quick shot of a Hooded Oriole today — my first 2020 season sighting. He was a beautiful mature adult male. A first-year male’s body plumage is yellowish-orange, as opposed to second year and older males (like this […]

2020 – less than half an inch of rain

Here we go again. Our rainy season started out well, with over three inches of rain tallied before New Year’s Day. Two months have passed since then and less than a half of inch of rain has fallen in the garden. We can only hope […]

White-lined Sphinx Moths

White-lined Sphinx Moths emerged early this season. Our light trap caught the first one on February 4th, about three weeks earlier than seasons past, and we are now seeing them every day. Lack of rain and abnormally warm temperatures during January certainly played a part […]