Searching for Sharks

Searching for Sharks

The captain killed the motor and the catamaran floated quietly a few miles off the coast of Dana Point.  Passengers were intensely focused on the surrounding seas with binocular and squinty eyes; the calm water makes it easier to spot ‘em, explained Eric Austin Yee, a naturalist with Dana Wharf Whale Watching. But it wasn’t […]

All You Need to Know About LA’s Wildlife Bridge — For Now

All You Need to Know About LA’s Wildlife Bridge — For Now

The much-anticipated and first-ever wildlife overcrossing in California is in works, with fundraising and raising awareness taking top priorities in this initial phase of the project that will create a span over 101 freeway near Liberty Canyon in the city of Agoura Hills and will benefit mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, lizards and more. It’s being […]

Adorable YouTube Wildlife Stars – We’re Not Clicking

Adorable YouTube Wildlife Stars – We’re Not Clicking

Attention Facebook, YouTube, Social Media Trends: we are not going to watch any more videos that involve wildlife interacting all cute and cuddly with humans in the wild.  You know the videos: “Scuba Diver and Seal Becomes Best Friends,” “Bear Sits Next to A Guy Fishing,”  “Elk vs. Photographer,”  “Feeding Friendly Monkeys in Malaysia,” “Wolves […]

Filling SoCal Skies

Filling SoCal Skies

One after another, cars arrive as if on cue. They pull over on the shoulder of this two-lane highway near an endless orange tree grove here in Valle Vista on the outskirts of Hemet in Riverside County. Old couples, parents of small children and families with grown kids sheepishly exit their cars, wander to the […]

SoCal’s Flying Teddy Bears

SoCal’s Flying Teddy Bears

Orange bumblebee? A hornet/bee hybrid? Giant flying peanut? Many metaphors describe the bumbling buzzer known as the valley carpenter bee, the largest native bee that’s currently lollygagging through many SoCal gardens, outdoor locales and parklands.  Who hasn’t experienced one of these fast-flying furries zooming straight toward your face? Who hasn’t responded with an unconscious head […]

Controlling Mosquitoes With Bats?

Controlling Mosquitoes With Bats?

Predators eat prey. It’s nature’s way. But when prey presents problems for humans, sometimes it’s good to encourage predators on the scene (think barn owl boxes for rodents, mice, etc.). With the news of the invasive mosquito infiltrating Southern California bringing along the potentially dangerous Zika virus, some ecologically-minded folks may wonder: Why don’t we […]

One Bird, Two Bird, Three Bird…

One Bird, Two Bird, Three Bird…

The higher you climb in Debs Park in Los Angeles, the less you hear of the traffic on the 110 Arroyo Freeway and the more you hear chirps, tweets, buzzes, clinks, coos and trills.     Up hidden in a cluster of trees and foliage, a ruby-crowned kinglet was singing an inventive collection of notes, […]

A Safe (And Wild) Place for Critter Cameras

A Safe (And Wild) Place for Critter Cameras

Johanna Turner pointed to where she and fellow camera trapper Denis Callet found the recent deer kill in this Altadena canyon.  The half-eaten carcass was found in sandy open area next to a bubbling flowing creek – and just within yards of homes situated on the ridges of either side. “I bet those folks living […]

Gastropods Among Us

Gastropods Among Us

Suddenly, the calm of Eaton Canyon was pierced by the shriek of delight from a young boy as he rose up from the ground where he had been poking through the leaves with a long stick. A crowd of adults gathered round as he cupped his hand and displayed his find which, on any other […]

Hunting Crayfish With Hot Dogs

Hunting Crayfish With Hot Dogs

One small critter is making one big mess in Topanga Creek. In the slow-moving creek waters, they lurk under rocks, skitter around the silty muck and hide under piles of sticks and leaves, tentacles waving and pincher claws grasping for anything that may be food. These days, food to these invasive crayfish means native frog, […]

A Tale of Two Squirrels

A Tale of Two Squirrels

Alan Muchlinski looked out his window in the 1990s and knew something was wrong. There was a squirrel in his West Covina backyard that wasn’t supposed to live in Southern California. An Eastern fox squirrel – not the native Western gray – was eating from his apricot tree. The grays don’t like the taste of […]

In the Name of Science and Art

In the Name of Science and Art

Taking photography from the realm of scientific data to artful expressions, wildlife biologist Brenton Spies has found a way to connect two of his great passions – and a new exhibition of his work illuminates both. “Diversity of California Wetlands” at the G-2 Gallery in Venice highlights Spies’ journey up and down the California coastline […]