April Fooling!

 • 

Would you believe a twig is watching you? That some leaves can walk? And that if you brush against a piece of bark, it just might fly away? Insects play “April Fools’” tricks on their would-be predators all the time, … Read more

Farallon Island Fur Seals

 • 

Two hundred years ago, the captain of a 280-ton whaling vessel reported seeing a bounty of fur seals on the Farallon Islands, 28 miles west of San Francisco. Subsequently, the captain and a small group of Boston-based whalers returned to … Read more

Heron and Egret Atlas for the Bay Area

 • 

No matter where you live in the Bay Area, you’ve likely noticed the sinewy, graceful forms of great blue herons and great and snowy egrets. These sylphlike birds are mostly solitary, whether flying overhead or braced in stillness for the … Read more

Is it OK to catch crawdads?

 • 

Q: A group of families goes out every year, catching up to 300 crawdads for a big feast, releasing those with eggs. We often wonder if we’re depleting the supply. How long do they live? Are they native to the … Read more

Islands in a Sea of Grass

 • 

The East Bay hills are dotted with hundreds of ponds, many of which offer welcome habitat and shelter to native wildlife, from threatened California red-legged frogs and tiger salamanders to toxic newts, voracious water bugs, and migrating waterfowl. Just about any pond, from a verdant clear blue pool to the merest muddy puddle, has something interesting going on beneath the surface. But perhaps the most remarkable fact about these ponds is that nearly all of them were created as watering holes for livestock. Today, the East Bay Regional Park District is working to understand the complex relationships between native species, grazing cattle, and artificial ponds.

Letter from the Publisher

 • 

About 15 years ago, I took a solo backpack trip in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness near Ebbets Pass in the Sierra. On the first morning, camped beside a small lake, I was awakened—much too early!—by the sound of moos and bells, … Read more

Video: The Return of the California Condor

 • 

The Big Sur coast has always provided nature lovers with an abundance of breathtaking scenery. But one of the most majestic elements of this coastal landscape, the California condor, nearly disappeared entirely in the early 1980s. Down to as few … Read more