Michael Ellis

Send your questions to atn@baynature.org.Santa Rosa-based naturalist Michael Ellis leads nature trips throughout the world with Footloose Forays (footlooseforays.com).

What are glowworms?


We don’t have fireflies in the Bay Area, but we do have glowworms. What are they and why the heck do they light up?

Why Do Birds Flock?


Q: I recently saw a video of a cloud of birds moving in wild patterns. Then I saw shorebirds doing the same thing. Why do birds do this–other than because they can? [Michael, El Cerrito] A: There are several kinds … Read more

Photosynthesis in Leaves That Aren’t Green


Q: How does photosynthesis occur in plants that are not obviously green, such as ornamental plum trees with deep purple-colored leaves? [Paul, Santa Cruz] A: Photosynthesis (which literally means “light put together”) is that very elegant chemical process that jump-started … Read more