When we went to Rose Canyon our nice tour guides showed us the Harlequin bug. These bugs are very fascinating and smart at the same time. The Harlequin bug is part of the Pentatomidae species but the scientific name for the Harlequin bug is Mugantia Pentatomidae. They are very annoying around veggies such as radishes ,broccoli , and an oriental flower called the Cleome. The harlequin bug is actually a beetle because every beetle a a line down their back that kinda makes the shape of a triangle. A Harlequin bug’s way of defense is falling down. That way predators won’t get to touch it, grab it ,or eat it. Baby Harlequin bugs can be as small as two centimeters but the biggest Harlequin bug that we saw was about half an inch. Some people in our class went there last year and they saw 2 harlequins bugs mating together to produce offspring. I really saw that the development of the Harlequin bugs have increased with more nymphs and adults since last year. Harlequin bugs are NOT poisoness the are NOT harmful either so if you see one don’t worry. Harlequin bugs are fascinating bugs to learn about and to observe in real life .
A few weeks ago we went on a field trip to Rose Canyon and we saw three ladybugs. Ladybugs are very interesting to learn about. There are 2 different kinds of ladybugs, one without spots and the other with spots. Maybe you’re wondering what do ladybugs eat? Where do they live? Well lets find out!
What do ladybugs eat? Ladybugs eat aphids. Aphids are soft bodied insects that are typically yellow, green, and brown with sucking mouthparts. Ladybugs also eat other insects like mealybugs, scale insects, and mites.
Where do they live? Ladybug lives almost anywhere but they prefer warmer areas. Some also live in open space, like the Rose Canyon. They could live on flowers or plants. Ladybugs live where they can find prey.
White-tailed Kites are birds of prey. It is sometimes referred to as the “Black-Shouldered Kite”. It is an amazing bird, it looks like a Black-Shouldered Kite, it has a similar hunt strategy as a Kestrel or an Osprey, and hunts small animals that are easy to catch. It is the most amazing bird I’ve ever seen!
Now I think you might be wondering what White-Tailed Kites look like. The White-Tailed Kite has two black and grey wings, a white tail, a white body, and a white head. Its beak is yellowish orange, like its feet.Overall light gray/white body with black shoulders, black area around eye, short black hooked beak, black carpal patches, red eye, pointed wings, 14 to 15 inches in length, 40 inch wingspan. The baby Kites look a little bit different from the adults. The baby Kites are have a lot of brown on their bodies.
The White-Tailed Kites have a similar hunt strategy as the American Kestrel. White-Tailed Kites hunts by hovering in place. It will hover up to 100 feet high above its prey, swoop down really fast so its prey won’t run away and hide. White-Tailed Kites hunt rodent, snakes, small birds, amphibians, and other small creatures that are easy to catch.
White Tailed Kites live in grasslands, marshes, savannas, and other open land. White Tailed Kites lay 3-5 eggs with lots of brown spots. Their nest is made out of twigs and sticks and outlined in grass. Their nest is usually build in a tall tree near water. Most of White-Tailed Kites live in South America. Here are some Places You Might Find White-Tailed Kites in San Diego. Mission Trails Park, San Diego Rose Canyon, University City Poway Santa Ysabel area.
Now you know how White-Tailed Kites look, how White-Tailed Kites hunt, where White-Tailed Kites live, and where you might find one. Next time you see something flying with a white body, black/grey wings, chances are that the bird is a White-Tailed Kite.
Do you ever feel like escaping the city and getting back to nature? Well you can. We have a lovely open space right on our doorstep called Rose Canyon. Last week we went to Rose Canyon for a field trip and let me tell you about Rose Canyon.
How big is Rose Canyon? Where is it? Rose Canyon is a seven acres of open space or park. It’s just west of La Jolla and interstate 5. few miles from Pacific Ocean. South of Sorrento Valley north of Bay Park. Rose Canyon has a creek called “The Rose Canyon Creek”. The creek is 30 miles.
There is a variety of animals in the Rose Canyon. Some of the animals in Rose Canyon are spiders, bugs, owls, ravens, hawks, birds, snakes, rats, wood rats, bees, and coyotes.
What plants live in Rose Canyon? There is all different kinds of plants. Some are poison oak, dead trees, black sage, white sage, oaks, oak apple gall, willow trees, and wild cucumber. The animals that are in rose canyon love to eat the plants in Rose Canyon.
Rose Canyon is a family friendly place the animals have adapted to the surroundings. They’re plants, animals, and homes.
If you see a beautiful bird with a red tail it might not be a cooper hawk but it is a Red-tailed Hawk. The red tailed hawk lives in Rose Canyon. It helps our in environment by eating rodents like mice and rats. I lives in tall trees like sycamore and oak trees.
What does a Red-tailed Hawk looks like? It always has a red tail and many more earth colors like brown. It weighs about 1.5 to 3.5 pounds and 2 to 3.5 feet. It has a sharp beak and sharp talons like claws fro grabbing its prey. The red tailed hawk a very colorful birds that makes them handsome.
How does it get its food and how does it kill it? It flies around in circles in the air and looks for it prey. When it find a creature it swoops down silently at 120 miles per hour and grabs it, puts in its nests, and eats it.
What about red tailed hawk’s life cycle? The red tailed hawk lays its eggs and it waits for a long time for the babies to hatch. When finally the eggs hatch they come out like tiny little birds called eyas. They waddle around then the red tailed hawk gets a mouse and brings it home for the eyas. After a few months they are old enough to learn to fly and hunt themselves. Then when they are almost one the fly away and live by themselves. That is the life cycle of a red tailed hawk.
Now you know all about a Red-Tailed hawk how it eats and how it looks like and so on. If you like my post go to these links and soon you will know everything about red-tailed hawks http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-tailed_Hawk/id.
Coyotes live in Rose Canyon, our local canyon in San Diego. I picked coyotes because they’re amazing creatures. Coyotes are wild animals.. I’m going to tell you about coyotes and what they eat, what they look like, and what they eat.
A coyote has white and brown fur. It has sharp ears and looks like a dog and it has a tail. If you think a coyote looks like dog, it is a dog. That’s because they are a member of the dog family but it’s not a dog.
Coyotes live in grasslands, deserts, and cold climates.Coyotes lives all in North America so that doesn’t mean you can find a coyote in Egypt or China. So a coyote lives in a nature park, San Diego, Canada, and all over south America.
Do you know what a coyote eats? They eats birds, mice, voles, lizards, insects, garbage, and almost anything. What I mean of almost anything I mean like a mouse, deer, and even birds. Coyotes hunt in packs and whenever they kill their prey they howl and howl and howl and how they kill their prey they pounce on them and bite them. Do you want to know if coyotes hunt in packs? Yes they do. They first chase the prey then they surround it and attack it.
I hope you enjoyed my post about coyotes and what they eat, where it lives, and how it looks like. My opinion on coyotes are they are interesting animals. They are interesting animals because they have a population that’s not going down which means they are NOT an animal that are about to be extinct.
Here is a link that has information about coyotes: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/creaturefeature/coyote/
Have you ever heard of a house wren? Well they are very interesting birds. They are not like any other bird. They are a small singing bird they live in Rose Canyon. Keep reading and you will find out what the house wren sounds like, what they look like, what they eat, and their mating system.
The house wren is a few different colors such as light brown on the back cream the chest and a little red in their feathers. They have a small pointed sharp beak. They weigh about 15 ounces (oz) and their wingspan is about 5 inches, that is about the size of a small pencil. They have tons of feathers all over. There are different kinds wrens they a ll look smiler but the details are different and some are different colors then other wrens.
The house wren mostly eats small berries, insects, leaves from trees nearby, and other things in nature . The male house wren will usually get the food and bring it back to his family.They live in Rose Canyon witch is good for them because there are tons of insects all over for them to eat.Kind of like food to go
When the male house wren sings a song it means he wants a family and a wife. House wrens have a high pitch song so the female can hear them. Their song is very relaxing too. I think it sounds like water bouncing off rocks. They only sing their song when they are ready for a female to come to his nest it has built–which means his nest is full of twigs, and sticks and leaves .
The house wren has a very interesting mating system. The male house wren finds a home then puts sticks and twigs inside. Then he sings a song and the female comes because she hears the song. After that the females lays eggs, and they have baby birds. For a while the parents will stay with their babies. The male will get the food for the babies. Last, the parents fly away when the babies are grown up.
The house wren is a very smart bird. They know exactly what to do–how to build a nest, how to sing songs, and how to raise their babies. The house wren is very unique and different. They are friends of rose canyon and all the other things in nature. I hope I get to see the house wren again in Rose Canyon.
Rose Canyon has many plants but I am going to tell you about three interesting trees in Rose Canyon. We have the Sycamore Tree, Weeping Willow Tree (Willow Tree), and Coast Live Oak Tree in Rose Canyon. Now let’s learn about the height and structure of the three different trees.
Sycamore Trees has a lot of description and great facts. The fruit on the Sycamore Tree are called Achenes. You can tell that you are looking at a Sycamore Trees by their leaves. The leaves have fuzz on the bottom of the leaves. The leave color is olive green. Did you know that the Sycamore Tree is part of the plain tree family? Well it is. The tree can reach up to the height of 175 feet and 53 m. The tree can be found in the U.S from southern Main
Willow Trees leaves look very droopy when you look at it. When the Willow Tree is compared to other trees their lifespan is shorter. Their height and width can be 35-50 feet.The fruit of the tree looks like a small brown capsule. It is half-inch long. Beautiful baskets are woven using the willow stems. Willow Trees have a short trunk. Willows usually grow near water. The Kumeyaay girls or women used the bark for skirts! Isn’t that fascinating.
Coast Live Oak Tree is a beautiful evergreen oak that grows nicely along S.E. coast of the U.S. it can also be seen in dry parts of Texas. It can grow to be 50 feet(15 meters) tall. It is the state tree of Georgia. Is a favorite tree for lawns and streets because it can resists damage from storms, bugs, and illness.
Those were interesting facts on the Sycamore, Weeping Willow, and The Coast Live Oak Tree. These trees can be found in Rose Canyon. You can tell them apart by their looks and their leaves. You can learn more at Friends of Rose Canyon.
Photo Credit: By justefrain (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
People think of all snakes as a rattlesnakes, a venomous snake but did you know there is a non venomous kind of snake that lives here in San Diego too? This snake eats pesky rodents, is not dangerous, and helps people by killing rodents. It’s a San Diego Gopher Snake! Gopher snakes are also called bull snakes. Does it eat gophers? How does it catch its prey? What does it look like? What’s the difference between a gopher snake and a rattlesnake? Keep reading and find out!
What does a gopher snake look like? A gopher snake is long and sometimes up to 9 feet but 4 feet is more common. It is long and skinny and it has no rattle. Its colors are dark brown, red, and yellow. Gopher snakes have bright, shiny scales
What does a gopher snakes eat? A gopher snake eat mice and rodents and gophers. A gopher snake sneaks up on its prey wrap around its prey and squeezes its prey to death. When the animal is dead, it swallows the prey whole. Gopher snakes are helpful to humans because they eat eat mice and rodents.
People kill gopher snakes because they think they are rattlesnakes. So, how do you know if a snake is a gopher snake or a rattle snake? A rattlesnake has a fat body, a gopher snake has a thin body. A rattle snake has a rattle and a gopher snake does not have a rattle. Rattlesnakes have poison and gopher snakes do not have poison. Rattlesnakes have a triangular face gopher snakes have a thin face.Rattlesnakes have cat eyes gopher snakes do not have cat eyes. Next time you see a snake be careful because maybe it’s not a rattlesnake but a gopher snake.
I think gopher snakes are amazing animals and they help people. There are all kinds of gopher snakes that live along the west coast of the United States. Lets not think they are all rattlesnakes and let’s not kill them! Remember if you see a snake it may not be a rattlesnake but a gopher snake!
Have you ever seen a black bird with a knife like beak or heard them too around school or in Rose Canyon? These birds are very loud. If you have you probably saw a raven. Ravens look like tall, black, and pretty overweight for a bird. Now follow me into an adventure into the sky.
When Ravens get hungry they go hunting for example. bird eggs, rodents, grains, seabirds, worms, insects or dead bodies of other animals berries, fruit, cereal grain, food waste. So now you know what ravens eat its kind of disturbing but its what they eat. They like it so yeah that’s what they eat. Ravens eat anything easy to catch.
Ravens live in many different places like the northern hemisphere is one place. Another is the Mediterranean, forests, and rocky coast. They live in other places like the tundra, grasslands. And strangely the artic.
Ravens look like crows but they are bigger and longer tails. They have knife like beaks. And come in many different size and shapes. They could be blue and shiny or normally really black.When ravens are babies they look chubby and fluffy. When they are grownups the look tall and skinny, and look like they have small legs. They have a wingspan of 46 inches.
Ravens are very smart, sometimes, they even take our lunches! They are very interesting animals. If you want to read more about Ravens try national geographic.com or common ravens.com. Those are some of the web sites you can try.
I am going to tell you about the California Trapdoor Spider at Rose Canyon. They are amazing creatures that are actually different than a normal spider. They don’t build a web the actually live under ground! If you would like to learn more keep reading.
What does a Trapdoor Spider look like? A Trapdoor Spider looks like a tarantula but smaller and less hairy. It is brown and it has thick short legs. It is about the size of a 9 year’s old hand. This TrapDoor Spider has big jaws that are good for hunting insects.
Where does a Trapdoor Spider live? Instead of a web a Trapdoor Spider lives in a burrow built in a hill made out of cool moist soil. It makes a door for of spider silk. When a Trapdoor builds its burrow it makes tunnels, 1 to go to the other two tunnels, 2 to get to the place where the eggs are laid and, 3 the place where they sleep.
What do they eat? A Trapdoor Spider eats insects like grasshoppers, bees, ants, flies, moths, butterflies, and other small spiders. Do you wonder how they hunt? Because I can tell you. First the Trapdoor Spider will wait by the door, then when he hears an insect crawling by he will jump out and kill it with its venom.
Well now you know all things about the California TrapDoor Spider, what it eats, how it eats, where it lives and what it looks like!
I think owls are awesome animals. They have thick bodies and strong hooked beaks to eat little animals. They grab animals with their sharp claws or talons. Most of the owls species have feathers on their legs and toes. The owl has feathers covering the beak.
Owls have feathers sticking up on their head that look like ears, but these are not ears! Their ears are on the side of their head. The feathers sticking up on their head are like satellites and the noise reflects off the feathers and into their ears.
Owls come in different sizes. For example, the elf owl is only 6 inches long! The largest owl is the great gray owl which is up to 30 inches long and its wingspan is around 5 feet wide!!
Owls eat mice,rats,moles,squirrels and skunks.They also eat insects.They kill the animal with their talons then they rip it to
shreds. Owls communicate with each other by making “whooo” noises. They tell each other if there is danger, also they ask each other for help in capturing animals that are too big for one owl to pick up!
What are some Native Plants in Rose Canyon, you ask? Well Rose Canyon has lots of different native plants that are native to the county of San Diego, California. Rose Canyon has lots of native plants like White Sage, Black Sage, and Poison Oak.
There are lots of sages like White Sage and Black Sage. White Sage, Salvia Apiana, bee sage, or sacred sage in English is a very strong scented plant, that is native to the southern coastal side of California and the eastern coastal side of California, mostly found in the coastal sage scrub habitat of Southern California and Baja California.
White sage has a white appearance in the light and in the dark. White sage can also be called Salvia Apiana, another name for white sage is Bee sage.This plant is native because, the Native people used this sage at the bottom of their bowl to keep the bugs away, and keep their precious acorns good, with the plants strong scent.White Sage blooms lots of flowers in the fall, There flowers are a white daisy-ish like flower.
Another native Sagebrush is called Black Sage, is also called Salvia Mellifera. Salvia Mellifera is a small plant that has a very strong scent. Black Sage is native to California. It is most common in the coastal side of Southern California and northern Baja California.
Black sage has a dark appearance, especially during a drought. Black Sage just like white stage, this plant is native because, the Native people used this sage at the bottom of their bowl to keep the bugs away, and keep their precious acorns fresh, with the plants strong scent. Also just like White Sage,Black Sage blooms lots of pretty flowers but these flowers are different, these flowers color is not a black flower, it is actually a dark purple-is color flower.
Did you know that poison oak is a native plant? Well, it is. This three leafed plant, toxicodendron diversilobum also called Poison oak can be poisonous but a great medicine. The Native people from long ago would scrap of the poisonous oils and mush up the plant up and use it for medicine but, safety is first and NEVER touch poison oak, it can cause a major rash.
There are lots of native plants in rose canyon like, White and black sage, and poison oak. Some can be dangerous and some can attract lots of buzzing bees. So…..always remember always safety first!
You have probably been to Rose Canyon before, and if you have you probably have seen or heard about a Barn Owl. Barn owls are very interesting animals and I am going to tell you about what they look like, when they do not need their parents, what they eat, and where they live. But what is a Barn Owl you might ask? A barn owl is a type of owl that lives in canyons, such as Rose Canyon.
There are a lot of barn owls that live in Rose Canyon. They live in very big nests so the whole family can nest including the young. They like to nest in very tall trees, such as an Oak Tree. The tall trees protect them from predators.
Have you ever wondered when owls don’t need their parents? Well, until the first born is 2 weeks old the female must constantly look over her chicks. The female can leave her chicks at home when they are all at least 2 weeks old to go hunting. The chicks can go hunting alone for their own food when they are 17 days old.
Most barn owls eat meat. Some of the meats they hunt and eat are mice, rats, moles, and other small animals. The male will hunt at night. Then he will bring the food back to his family.
Barn owls actually aren’t the only owls that live in Rose Canyon. There is also a type of owl called a Great Horned owl. So when ever you go to Rose Canyon make sure to look out for those owls!
A Cooper’s Hawk is a bird of prey and is often found in the canyons of San Diego, like Rose Canyon. I’m going to tell you about Cooper’s Hawks–where they live, what they eat, and what they look like. I chose this animal because I think they are interesting and amazing birds.
Cooper’s Hawks can be found anywhere between Southern Canada and Northern Mexico. Some Cooper’s Hawks spend the winter in Panama. The Cooper’s Hawk used to not live in cities. Now they live in cities, in the woodlands, and mountain forests.
Cooper’s Hawks vary in size depending on the region they are in. The ones from Western North America are smaller than the ones from the East. A Cooper’s Hawk is a medium sized hawk. The male is smaller than the female. Males weighs between 7 to 14 ounces which is less than one pound. Females are between 1-2 pounds. Males are 14-18 inches tall. Females are 17-20 inches tall. These hawks have short wings and long tails. They have sharp talons (sharp claws) and hooked beaks for catching and eating prey. They have brown spots on a white tummy. Adults have red eyes and juveniles have yellow eyes with a brown cap or head. In the hawk family they are medium sized compared to other hawks.
Cooper’s Hawks can eat lots of different kinds of small animals like rats, mice, and other rodents. They also eat small animals like rabbits and squirrels. They mostly eat small to medium sized birds like a house wren. When a hawk sees an animal that is flying, it swoops down, grabs, and brings the prey back to the nest. After catching an animal, it squeezes the prey with its sharp talons until the animal dies then the hawk eats it.
The Cooper’s Hawk is a very interesting bird that can be found right in your backyard. They can be helpful by eating your rats. They are fun to watch. If you are very lucky, you might see one swoop down and catch a bird in mid-air.
Have you ever wondered what kind of creature is a rattlesnake? A rattlesnake is very sleek and quiet when they are little because they only have one rattle so it doesn’t make a sound. How cool is that! Ready to learn more, then keep on reading!
A rattlesnake is a very dangerous kind of snake because of its very poisonous venom. The venom destroys your body tissue. It comes up through the rattlesnake’s body starting from its venom pouch inside it. The baby rattlesnake is the most dangerous. It is the most dangerous because it can’t control how much venom so it just puts all of its venom in you when you get bit.
A rattlesnake looks like a regular snake with a rattle. Of course it has scales, it has a rattle, and some have unusual patterns like the western diamondback looks like it has diamonds on its back. A rattlesnake has a pair of very large folding back fangs that venom shoots out of, and finally tiny in the back of its mouth, the tiny teeth are like front teeth in the place where your molar teeth are.
A rattlesnake is called a rattlesnake because of the rattle. Its rattle is called a rattle because it makes a (very annoying) rattling sound. This sound sounds like a very loud SHHH. That sound warns people nearby to go away otherwise the rattlesnake is going to start striking. The rattlesnake always rattles before striking. Sometimes when the rattlesnake moves the rattle on its tail rattles because of the movement. They make the rattling sound when the rattles clank together.
Now that you know about rattlesnakes you will have to remember to always get away when you hear a rattlesnake’s rattle rattling!
Do you know the saying, “Leaves of three, let them be.”? Did you know it is about poison oak? Poison oak is called poison oak for a reason, it’s poisonous. Poison oak is a plant that can be either a vine or sometimes a bush. There are different kinds of poison oak. West Poison Oak grows in the canyons around San Diego. Rose Canyon is full of poison oak. . It grows all along the west coast from Baja California, to California, to British Columbia in Canada.
Poison oak looks very different at different times of the year. In the fall the leaves get red and orange. In winter, the three leaves separate and fall off and we touch them thinking they are normal leaves. In spring poison oak has new leaves of three so let them be. Lastly, in summer they are still like spring and they grow berries and flowers that are poisonous. One very poisonous part of poison oak is the berries. They have greenish flowers and poisonous waxy white berries. The berries on poison oak are as poisonous as the leaf. If you ever come up to poison oak or berries and flowers The poison oil, on the leaves react to our skin when we touch the leaves surface. When we touch the leaf its oils itches our skin. Its oils react to our oils on our skin and the rash is a red blistering rash. Which causes a rash that if you don’t cure right away it will get worse because its oils will spread onto our oils.
Some animals don’t react to poison oak. Deer actually eat poison oak and they don’t get a reaction at all! Birds hide themselves in it so they stay unreachable from predators that react to poison oak. The birds aren’t bothered by the poison oak.
When you go to a canyon make sure you don’t touch any plants with three leaves. A way to remember it is “ Leaves of three let them be”. Remember it’s Toxicodendron Diversilobum (poison oaks real name).
By Eeekster (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A cactus is an amazing plant in the desert. Cactus lives in the Desert, but it can live in the dry soil, too.
Cactus have little prickly spikes all over, and a green waxy coat. The green coat is a cactus’s skin. In the inside of a cactus, there is water. But you can’t drink cactus water, because cactus water is not clean for drinking. Can you eat cactus fruit? Yes, you can. It shaped like around, little, small like your hand rock, It colored like magenta. The cactus gets fruit every spring.
A prickly pear cactus is a succulment plant. Succulment means many water in there. It has thick fleshy pads. Each pads shaped like a pear. The pads help the plant store water. The pads of the plant are covered with spines. The spines keep animals from eating the fleshy leaves.”
The saguaro cactus grows very slowly. A plant that is fifty years old may just thirteen feet tall. A large saguaro cactus can be woodkeepers and owls home.
A barrel cactus grows faster on its northern, shadier side. This makes the whole cactus curve and point slightly to the south. People in the desert use plant to help them find the right side.
Cactus is amazing plant but is dangerous, because you can hurt from spikes. If you want to go Desert, go with adults!
Photo Credit: By Jon Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons