Winter is a critical time for wildlife. Competition is high and resources are low. With minimal vegetation and unforgiving temperatures (by California standards), wildlife must successfully stay warm by finding shelter and food. As the changing climate makes seasonal weather less and less predictable, local wetlands become critical places for shorebirds, seabirds, and waterfowl to survive the cold months.
What lives underground and hisses to fend off predators? If you were thinking of a snake, then the burrowing owl succeeded in its goal (and our picture above must not have loaded...)! Sharing semi-arid climates with squirrels, rattlesnakes, and more has led this unique bird to develop some interesting adaptations, including that particular defense mechanism. Life on ground-level is no easy endeavor for these little ones, though they seem to make it look that way.
The Open Space Authority is pleased to celebrate a recent victory that enhances wildlife corridors and highlights their value to the public across the state. On Friday, October 8, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 790 (SB 790) which builds upon existing framework to ensure wildlife can access adequate habitat to promote healthy populations and build resiliency against the effects of climate change.
Welcome to spooky season! ‘Tis the season for scary movies, haunted houses, and ghost stories, so we thought it fitting to talk about one of the (seemingly) spookiest critters found at our open space preserves this time of year – tarantulas. September and October is the best time for viewing as they leave their burrows for mating season - just in time for Halloween.
So what better time to pull back the curtain and make these creepy-crawlies a bit less creepy?
You’ve heard of March Madness... Now get ready for BIRD BONANZA!
Did you know that fall is one of the best times of year for birdwatching? So, join us this month for a birding-themed bracket to discover which species is the true fan favorite – while learning about native California birds!
Squirrels are highly adaptable, charismatic, and all-around tough species. If you live, or grew up in Santa Clara Valley, chances are you have your own story about an experience with these artful, bushytailed rodents. Though some view squirrels as pests, these nimble, curious critters play a major role in regulating their ecosystems. For those who are less than appreciative of their presence, learning about their vibrant lives and complex social interactions might just inspire a bit more interest in these seemingly inconspicuous creatures.
Did you know monarchs are one of the few butterfly species known to make a two-way migration - just like birds? Each fall, Western monarch butterflies travel from their summer breeding spots to overwintering locations along the Pacific coast where they live for six to nine months. Remarkably, they return to the same groves of trees each year, and California is the only place in the United States that regularly hosts awe-inspiring sights of monarchs clustered together for the winter.
On July 8, 2021, the State of California declared a state of emergency in response to climate change and worsening drought conditions.
As of August 19, the U.S. Drought monitor reported that Santa Clara County is facing extreme drought. With the county’s water shortage emergency making national news headlines, you are not alone if you’re experiencing eco-anxiety.
But there is hope amid this climate crisis. Through small, everyday actions we can all help protect our water supply - and (bonus) you’ll save money while doing it!
Keep reading to learn how you can make every drop count, and how the Open Space Authority works to protect and restore water resources.
On August 9th, the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority (the Authority), in partnership with the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), finalized the $5 million purchase of the historic Tilton Ranch Complex. The 60-acre parcel, which includes residential and operational buildings at the heart of the ranch, completes the protection of this historic and environmentally important property. Other supporting partners include Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department and Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency. The partners acquired and protected 1,861 acres of Tilton Ranch in October 2020.
- POST Permanently Protects 71 Acres in Mid Coyote Valley
- Your 2022 Hiking Horoscope
- A New Year for Open Space
- Staff Spotlight: Meet Linda Kwong
- Winter, Wetlands, and Waterfowl
- Honoring Dr. King's Environmental Legacy
- County Actions Safeguard Coyote Valley Farmland and Open Space
- Winter Wildlife: Burrowing Owls
- Social Trails
- Local Land Use Decisions Represent Bold Climate Actions