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By Price Sheppy
This winter the Golden Gate National Parks will be planting over a thousand lupines, the host plant of the mission blue butterfly. As we begin this restoration work to help this endangered species, I can’t help but reflect on all that I have learned... more >>
Odonates are dragonflies and damselflies that are associated with water. As flying adults, they are carnivorous that prey on other insects. Their name comes from the Greek word odṓn meaning “tooth”—even though it is now known that their strong mandibles (jaws) do not have teeth but rather serrations.
Dragonflies are fairly... more >>
In honor of Halloween and the Day of the Dead, we’ve got a bone to pick with you. Put on your thinking (skull)cap and see how many of these skeletal remains you can identify—of animals found in the Golden Gate... more >>
National Geographic and the National Park Service have partnered to conduct a BioBlitz in a different national park each year during the decade leading up to the NPS Centennial in 2016. For 24 hours, volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members try to find and identify as many... more >>
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a great place to see birds. You can see the largest migration of raptors in western North America in the Marin Headlands, find spotted owls in Muir Woods, or see shorebirds at Lands End (to name just a few).
Arguably, the quintessential part of... more >>
On a misty day during a walk through Muir Woods, I saw a small brown and orange salamander. It was a brief look, and I am a poor herpetologist, but I suspect it was an Ensatina—or Ensatina eschsholtzii to those with a systematics bent—that occurs in habitats from coniferous forests... more >>
On a recent birding trip to Point Reyes, we ran across dozens of song sparrows—small, brown and white birds with a penchant for singing on the tops of bushes and fences. My friend, a decently experienced bird watcher, had trouble identifying them. When told they were song sparrows she said,... more >>
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) is a species known to participate in inter-species collaboration. The downy woodpecker occupies a large range throughout North America, and, according to the Sequoia Audubon Society, it has been sighted at Mori Point here in the Golden Gate... more >>
Maybe you grew up in Southern California and wonder if you’ve ever truly experienced “autumn.” Palm tree fronds don’t change colors, after all. The truth is that there is a lot more to seasonal change than a palette shift. And although we may not have a white holiday approaching, there... more >>
Little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus, which in Greek means “mouse ear” and “light fleeing”) inhabit Canada, Mexico, and the United States. They prefer forested areas, but can easily adapt to tall shrub and urban environments. They are extremely temperature tolerant and can survive cold 40 degree nights and hot 120... more >>