There are 10,000-plus species of birds in the world, about 1,100 species in the United States, and 350 or so in the greater Bay Area, so there is great variability in nests. But the basic purpose of any nest is … Read more
What do you want to know about the natural world? Thanks to donations from readers like you, Bay Nature has teamed up with the naturalists at the California Center for Natural History to answer your questions about the world every other Tuesday. Some questions find their way to naturalist Michael Ellis, whose answers appear in our quarterly print magazine. Email us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Do mushrooms require a certain kind of substrate?
I saw thousands of these on Drakes Beach on Dec. 6, after the recent storm. What happened? -David Ford You could be forgiven for being offended by the above photo: thousands of 10-inch wiggly pink sausages strewn about Drakes Beach. … Read more
Why couldn’t I buy live crabs this Thanksgiving? Whether or not you choose to use your carnassial teeth for their intended purpose, eating Dungeness crabs (Metacarcinus magister) is something of a regional tradition around the holidays. A “crab feed” is … Read more
What salamanders live in the Bay Area? Ahh yes, salamanders. The under-appreciated amphibians, second to their more well-known and vocal (if slightly obnoxious) cousin the frog. For these slimy critters, existence under the forest floor or in murky bodies of … Read more
No need for alarm — it’s just a sign of fall.
Yesterday afternoon I went for a jog along the Bay Trail and saw a bunch of little fish flipping around near the surface right at the edge of the beach. What were they? Were they being chased by something?–A.J., Alameda … Read more
I saw a bunch of spiders hanging from structures in the middle of their webs. What are they and why do they do that? Looks like you’ve stumbled across one of the more interesting web builders of the Bay Area, … Read more
I found this on my front door — it looks like needles in a circular motion with white tips. What is it? The small “needles” that start to decorate doors, plants, and just about any surface imaginable this time of … Read more
What are some the biological consequences of climate change in Northern California?