Biota California

Studying the Flora & Fauna of California


Please Donate

We accept donations at any time, to help us keep our domain renewed.

Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated!



Tricolored Blackbird. ©Nina Jones


In June 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission denied an attempt to place the Tricolored Blackbird on the state Endangered Species List, and discontinued emergency protections that had been in place since December 2014. In August 2015, the Center for Biological Diversity again petitioned the state Fish and Game Commission to list the species as Endangered under the state Endangered Species Act — the third time in the last decade the Center has attempted to gain state protection for this species.

The Center first petitioned for emergency protection for the species in 2004. The Fish and Game Commission ignored the recommendation of experts familiar with the species and rejected the petition. After a decade of further population declines, the Center petitioned again for emergency listing in October 2014.

In December 2014 the commission determined… Continue reading


Oak Titmouse has a bite of breakfast.


If you like making your own, here’s a very simple and easy recipe for no-melt suet that I gleaned from various websites:


1 cup steel cut oats

1 – 2 cups masa harina (or corn meal)

1 – 2 cups bird seed

1 cup lard (or vegetable shortening)

1 cup crunchy peanut butter



  • Melt the lard and peanut butter together, over low heat
  • Add the dry ingredients to the melted lard/peanut butter mix
  • Pour into containers of your choice to cool. I spread some of the cooling mix in the suet basket and let it continue to cool completely.





If you are out in the SF Bay/Delta waterways for field work, birding, etc. and see a turtle, please email with the date, location (latitude/longitude or approximate location), approximate shell length, behavior or condition (swimming, lethargic, responsive) and photos if possible (or as much information is feasible).


REMINDER: sea turtles are protected species, and require permits for any handling/catching/sampling, so please do not attempt to interact with or capture turtles.


SAN JOAQUIN RIVER (CBS13) — A fisherman spotted a rare sea turtle on the San Joaquin River that experts say is very far from home.


Angler Dan Maloon posted video in search of affirmation that his freshwater find and eyes weren’t deceiving him.


“When I first saw it, I thought it was a plastic bag,” he said.


Validation came from the experts… Continue reading


A Brahminy blind snake (Ramphotyphlops braminus) found in Southern California. These tiny nonnative snakes are showing up with increasing frequency in Southern California. If you see one, please report it to






Limestone Salamander, juvenile, Mariposa County, CA


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed reviewing petitions to list nine species in California and Nevada under the Endangered Species Act and a petition to delist one species. The Service determined the petitions to list the California spotted owl, Inyo Mountains salamander, Kern Plateau salamander, lesser slender salamander, limestone salamander, Panamint alligator lizard, Shasta salamander, southern rubber boa, and tricolored blackbird contained substantial information and warrant more in-depth review of these species’ conservation status. The petition to delist the Stephens’ kangaroo rat, an endangered species, did not provide substantial information to indicate delisting is warranted.


These determinations, commonly known as 90-day findings, are based on scientific information about the species provided in the petition. The substantial 90-day findings are the first step in a lengthy process that triggers a more… Continue reading

1 2 3 6