To Our Ojai Community:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we recover from the damage from the Thomas Fire on our trails. In the coming months trails will likely open and close depending on rain and changing trail conditions. Click here for current information and trail notifications »

CREATURE FEATURE

By on March 26, 2021 in Newsletter with 0 Comments

WESTERN BLUEBIRD 

Western Bluebird male on the left and female on the right. Images by Nicole Kabey

Have you noticed all of the beautiful bluebirds flying around the Ojai Meadows Preserve? The Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) is one of our local residents that we are lucky to have year-round here in Ojai. This stunning bird can typically be seen perching on top of shrubs, power lines and fence wires throughout the Ojai Meadows Preserve, and flying down to snag insects from the grass. This species of bird also exhibits what scientists call sexual dimorphism, which simply means that male individuals look different than females. Males present with bright blue feathers and a striking rusty chest while females are much duller and grayer. See if you can spot these differences the next time you hit the trails! 


IT’S UNBELEAFABLE! 

Ojai fritillary (Fritillaria ojaiensis) by Nathan Wickstrum

The Ojai fritillary (Fritillaria ojaiensis) can be found along the Central Coast of California, in counties such as Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Monterey. However, despite its wide range, it is an incredibly rare plant. This perennial herb grows well on rocky slopes and river basins in partial shade so you might be able to find it under some large shrubs or trees! It grows from a bulb underground, and the first thing to grow out of the bulb is a flat, green leaf. From there a tall and erect stem grows (it can grow up to two feet) and little cup-shaped flowers start to develop. The flowers contain six petals and are greenish-yellow to purple with purple spotting. Unfortunately, because of road maintenance and recreational activities this plant is considered threatened and very uncommon. So, if you are lucky and happen to find one of these on your next hiking adventures please don’t pick them. Take pictures and admire the beauty and charm of the rare Ojai fritillary! 

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