Tag Archives: acorn woodpecker

Out & About—California Living Museum in Bakersfield, California

Out & About

When I was in Bakersfield, California, on February 11-12, 2020, high on my list of places to visit was the California Living Museum, or CALM for short. It specializes in California native fauna and flora.

California Living Museum logo

California Living Museum logo

Although the California Living Museum is only 14 acres with 250 animals representing 80 species, I can highly recommend it.

Keep in mind that I have been a member of zoos, arboretums, aquariums, and animal sanctuaries since I was 13 when my wise old grandmother got me a membership to the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. After that it was the San Antonio Zoo and the Houston Zoo. Also keep in mind that I have been a member of the San Diego Zoo since May 1993.

When I was searching for things to do in Bakersfield and found the California Living Museum, I immediately compared it to the San Diego Zoo at 99 acres, 3,700 animals, and 650 species, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park at 1,800 acres, 3,500+ animals, and 400+ species.

I had convinced myself that I would be disappointed, but I just cannot bear to miss a zoo, arboretum, or sanctuary, so off I went, thinking that since it specialized in California native flora and fauna, maybe I would see something that I had never seen before. At $10, the price was right, too!

I spent four hours at CALM, which breaks down to $2.50 per hour. That’s entertainment that doesn’t break the bank!

Following are some of my best pictures of CALM.

Seeing a saguaro (Carnegia gigantea) in the parking lot gave me great hope
and it only got better.California Living Museum

California Living Museum

California Living Museum

Barrel cactus
Barrel cactus

Northern Mojave Rattlesnake
Northern Mojave Rattlesnake

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake
Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake

Sidewinder
Sidewinder

Sonoran Gopher Snake
Sonoran Gopher Snake

Chuckwalla
Chuckwalla

Desert Iguana
Desert Iguana

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise

Desert Bighorn SheepDesert Bighorn Sheep

CoyoteCoyote

Mountain Lion
Mountain lion

Mountain lion

Nelson’s Antelope Squirrel
Nelson's Antelope Squirrel

Roadrunner
Roadrunner

Turkey
Turkey

Western Scrub Jay
Western Scrub Jay

Barn Owl
Barn Owl

Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

California Living Museum

Did you notice that I got a picture of both a coyote and a roadrunner?

Coyote and roadrunner

Out & About San Diego — #7: San Diego: A bird-lover’s paradise

Out & About San Diego

#7
San Diego: A bird-lover’s paradise

San Diego County lays claim to a bird-lover’s paradise because there have been more species of birds seen in the County than in any other county in the nation. The current tally is 505 different species of birds being seen here.

Early this morning my assistant, Eric Cooper, and I took advantage of that claim to go out with the San Diego Beginning Birders meetup group. We met at 8:00 at Hernandez Hideway at 19320 Lake Drive in Escondio, right on the shores of Lake Hodges.

Hernandez' Hideaway, 19320 Lake Drive, Escondido, California

There are many parking lots on the shore side of Lake Drive, and we chose one of them to park everyone’s cars, about 20 cars for about 30 people. Overlooking the parking lot were lots of eucalyptus trees and oak trees, and in the trees were about a dozen acorn woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus). Here are two of them:

Acorn woodpeckers

According to the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, acorn woodpeckers are very sociable and usually found in small, noisy colonies. They eat mainly acorns and use a granary tree to store food. A granary tree is a tree with dozens, maybe hundreds, of holes pecked into the trunk, and each hole is filled with acorns. It looks like this:

Granary tree for acorn woodpeckers

Acorn woodpeckers use the same granary tree year after year, so if you want to see a lot of woodpeckers, now you know where to go!

Pictures taken by Russel Ray using a Canon 550D.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat