November 17, 2020
We know that some animals typically mate for life: seahorses, grey wolves, certain species of penguins, and more! But what about mourning doves?
November 12, 2020
It is commonly believed that mother birds will abandon or reject their chicks if they're touched by humans. Learn the facts about what really happens and what to do if you do find a baby bird that's fallen out of its nest!
November 10, 2020
With the weather getting colder as winter approaches, many animals are preparing for a long nap! You know about hibernation, but have you ever heard of brumation? Learn what brumation is and how it differs from hibernation!
November 05, 2020
However you think of grasshoppers, it can't be denied that they are very helpful in maintaining an ecosystem. Learn how grasshoppers support their habitat as well as other animal populations!
November 03, 2020
We're often asked what should be done if you find an injured animal. Like you, we want to help that animal, but there are a few things to be aware of when approaching a wild animal in need of help and ways to keep both the animal and yourself safe. Check out our latest Ask a Naturalist to find out what to do if you find an injured animal.
October 29, 2020
Ever wonder how bats are able to hunt at night or how dolphins are able to locate objects near and far? They use echolocation! Learn all about what echolocation is and how certain animals use it to survive in their habitat. Create by creating your own sound experiment at home and then activate by testing how well you can pinpoint the location of a sound while blindfolded!
October 27, 2020
Dive into the incredible world of salmon and discover their amazing life cycle. Born in the river, they make their way to the ocean before returning to their birthplace when it's time to spawn. Learn how they're able to navigate the vast ocean to find their way home, create, and activate in this latest Ask a Naturalist!
October 22, 2020
If you visited the Nature Center, then you most likely saw our replica village. We're often asked if the Nature Center is located on a known native village site. Read more to learn the answer!
October 20, 2020
Hummingbirds are amazing little creatures! We know they're able to flap their wings at incredible speeds, but can they really fly backwards? Discover the answer and learn how to make your own DIY hummingbird feeder!
October 15, 2020
Raccoons are often found lurking around the neighborhood at night. Find out how these nocturnal critters can actually be beneficial to your neighborhood and natural, humane ways to minimize them visiting your yard too often.
October 13, 2020
Fall is full of colorful leaves. Reds, yellows, and oranges paint the trees. But what causes green leaves to change colors in fall?
October 08, 2020
The Nature Study Area is full of wonderful plants that support the incredible wildlife of the oak woodland. Learn how to protect this special place by following our motto: "Take only memories and leave only footprints".
October 01, 2020
Have you ever seen two male deer lock antlers in a heated battle? Discover why they do this and what it means!
September 29, 2020
Have you ever heard a woodpecker drumming on a pole, a tree, or even your house? Learn more about this fascinating behavior!
August 18, 2020
Why are male and female birds different colors? Are there other differences too? Are all male and female birds different colors or just a few? Dive into the world of plumage dimporphism.
August 11, 2020
Can you tell the temperature outside by using a crickets chirp? Find out, try your hand at making wine glasses sing and more!
July 30, 2020
Is it okay to feed ducks and geese? The short answer is no. Learn more about this common feeding "fowl", make an origami duck, and more!
July 28, 2020
Are there ticks in the Nature Study Area? You betcha! Learn when they come out, how to avoid a questing tick, and what to do if you get bit.
July 21, 2020
Animals like salmon, coyote, and even turkey vultures all have an extraordinary sense of smell. But what about owls? Discover the answer, watch an owl hunt using their incredible senses, compare your eyesight to an owl's and more!
July 17, 2020
The path is dusty and hot, the grass is dry and most of the flowers are gone, but now is actually the most bountiful season in our Nature Study Area. It is fruiting season! Take a walk with EYNC Docent Mary Louise Flint and discover a dozen of the fruit you might see in these hot summer months!
July 09, 2020
When you are at the river, you may come across a critter that tries to look threatening with its two pincerlike claws raised up at you ready to pinch at any moment to protect itself. It looks like a lobster! But is it a lobster?
July 07, 2020
Though there are still small traces of gold left in our beautiful American River, what you are most likely seeing reflecting in the water is what gold miners called “Fools Gold,” or Pyrite. So, how can you tell them apart?
July 02, 2020
Coyotes are smart and adaptable animals who frequently share spaces with humans. Learn how to keep wildlife wild and everyone safe!
June 16, 2020
We regularly overhear visitors saying that Natoma (the rattlesnake) is a “poisonous snake” when, in fact, she is venomous! So, that leads us to our big question: what is the difference between venomous and poisonous? Find out the answer, draw rattlesnake patterns, and explore the world of toxic biology on this edition of Ask A Naturalist!
June 04, 2020
Go on a scavenger hunt in the nature area (downloadable PDF), draw your own habitat, and discover the difference between ecosystems and habitats!
June 02, 2020
Have you ever noticed dead bees on milkweed plants? While a vital plant for monarch butterflies, milkweed can be tricky to navigate for other pollinators. Discover why, try drawing and labeling flower parts, and explore the flowers in your neighborhood!
May 28, 2020
We get many calls throughout the summer months about a fawn found all by itself. This is completely normal! Find out what to do if you see a fawn by itself.
May 21, 2020
That ‘green stuff’ that you may see growing all around on trees and rocks during the wetter months is not mold...it is not moss...it is lichen! Learn more about this fascinating and complex organism.
May 19, 2020
Our beautiful Nature Study Area is bordered by the American River. At the shoreline, there are countless river rocks where we are commonly asked, how did all these rocks get here? Discover the answer...
May 14, 2020
Have you seen wood ducks in the Nature Study Area? Even if you didn't know what they were at the time, the answer is most likely yes. View the Nature Center's wood ducks through the lens of photojournalist Larry Klink, and discover where you are likely to see these stunning birds!
May 12, 2020
We have many incredible bucks that roam the Nature Study Area. We often hear visitors mentioning large “horns” on bucks, but did you know they are actually antlers! Learn the difference, watch two young bucks sparring, make your own antler crown and more!
April 30, 2020
Squirrels are our neighbors! They live in our yards, race around urban parks, and can be found in the Nature Study Area and along the American River Parkway. But can you tell one squirrel species from another? Discover more...
April 23, 2020
Ever notice those little pink bumps on oak leaves, or those growths that look a little like an apple? Those are oak galls! Learn about what causes these fascinating formations and discover a couple of fun ways to use oak galls in your crafts. Read more...
April 21, 2020
Acorn Woodpeckers are one of the birds most commonly seen in the Effie Yeaw nature preserve (and they’re our mascot), but do they really acorns?
April 21, 2020
The City Nature Challenge is a global event encouraging people to explore and record the natural world around them. With extra time at home and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we can’t think of a better year to participate!
April 16, 2020
A popular question we hear around the Nature Center is: “What kind of nest is this?” Most of the time we are able to identify the nest simply by the size and by the materials used and construction of the nest. So why do some birds build their nests in different shapes with different materials? Read more...
April 14, 2020
Butterflies are out and about this time of year. Visitors often ask us about the beautiful black butterflies they see in the Nature Study Area and on the American River Parkway. Learn more...
April 09, 2020
Learn the answer, and discover learn some of the differences between rabbit and hares. You'll also make your own paper bunnies, and see how high you can jump!
April 08, 2020
Sacramento County parks will be closed this weekend (April 11 + 12, 2020), so why not explore the natural world in your own neighborhood? Here are a few ideas to get you started learning about the plants, bugs, birds, and mammals that live with you everyday!
April 07, 2020
Ever wonder why western fence lizards do push-ups? Discover the answer, create your very own lizard from beads and more!
April 02, 2020
Nature Center Naturalist Kristen answers one of our most commonly asked questions about rattlesnakes! Make your own movable paper snake, get a few tips how to see more wildlife when you are outside, and more!
March 31, 2020
Naturalist Sara Tabatabai answers your questions about Turkey Vultures, make your own turkey vulture out of tp rolls and more! Join us to learn, create, and activate!
March 26, 2020
A commonly asked question that our naturalists hear at the Nature Center is "how do I identify poison oak?" Naturalist, Kelly Seck, has the answer in our first online edition of Ask a Naturalist! Each post will include information and various media inviting you to Create, Activate, and check out a related resource with more fascinating details.
January 13, 2020
ARNHA Wildlife Count volunteers were out in full force on the weekend of December 7th-8th to document bird and wildlife populations found along the Lower American River. Twelve teams, including 1 team in a canoe, counted 13,894 birds in 121 species (plus 13 taxa), and other animal species. See the details of their efforts and an exciting raptor observation.
December 12, 2019
What are those very tall, straw-colored, dead-looking plants in the meadow along the Main Trail near the river? They weren’t there when you walked by last spring. These tall sticks are the autumn form or last stage in the annual cycle of...
July 10, 2019
Photographer and blogger Larry Klink spends many mornings wandering the trails of the Effie Yeaw Nature Study Area. He says, "For me, walking the trails and photographing the things I see allows me to connect with nature in simple, every day, matters of life".
March 13, 2019
When you walk through Effie Yeaw Nature Center, you’ll notice a lot of bird activity. The acorn woodpeckers and jays make their noisy presence known. Wild Turkeys roam the grounds, Hawks and Turkey Vultures can be seen perched or circling. But what about those little brown and gray birds that are always flitting around from tree to tree?
February 19, 2019
We have two ponds at Effie Yeaw, the Nature Study Pond at the southeast corner of the reserve and the smaller pond in the Maidu Village at our entryway. Both ponds are covered with mats of tiny plants. Often these plants make it difficult to even see the water surface.
February 07, 2019
As you travel through the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, there are a few birds that are common and easy to spot. For those new two birding, learning to identify these birds and their favorite places and foods is a great way to begin!
December 20, 2017
This year ARNHA Wildlife Count volunteers were out in full force to document bird and wildlife populations found along the Lower American River. Twelve teams, including 1 team in a canoe, counted 14,326 birds in 119 species, and other animal species. See their details of their efforts and some exciting wildlife observations.
March 30, 2017
Spring is just arriving, and the trees and shrubs here at the preserve are starting to wake up! From the moment you step foot on the sidewalk approaching the visitor center, you can see a whole host of diverse native trees and shrubs exploding with new life.
September 01, 2016
Imagine the existence of a predatory creature that will grab its prey from beneath the ground, just below their feet, and drag them below the earth to devour them. Such a creature sounds like a monster from science fiction and horror, but this thing is real! It is real!! And it lives at Effie Yeaw!
January 23, 2016
The wood duck is another iconic North American animal that we are fortunate to find in the Effie Yeaw nature preserve. The beauty of the wood duck has inspired stories in the oral traditions of Native Peoples as well has being a common theme found in American folk art. Hand painted wood duck decoys are a popular item among collectors.
December 26, 2015
Reported sightings from visitors of small shadowy black furred creatures inhabiting the woods surrounding Effie Yeaw have increased during the month of December. Recently a woman came into the Nature Center and recounted that she and her grandson had witnessed a small black skunk quickly scurrying up and down tree trunks and leaping across branches!
November 27, 2015
I couldn’t sleep. I looked through the dark at the time; just after 4am. I wanted to go to Effie Yeaw early that morning to do some wandering before open, but not at 4am. For the record, I am far from being a morning person. Nevertheless I had my alarm set for 5am. For me to try falling back asleep now for less than an hour would be a futile effort, so with a groan I dragged myself out of bed and quietly in the dark I got dressed.
November 25, 2015
Recently I was talking with Phil Stone at Effie Yeaw, a long time friend of the Nature Center and local photographer. He told me he had been walking in the field opposite the golf course on Tarshes Drive when he noticed a nicely dressed family gathered to pose for an outdoor family photo. The family was ready for the photo and smiling for the camera when three Tom Turkeys came running at them in fury.
October 30, 2015
Alright, I'm excited to write about this next animal that is living wild in the preserve. This pint sized ghost of the woods has a lot of personality packed into a little bad ass ball of fluff. This entry is about the western screech owl! Megascops kennicotti. Aka: ghost owl, the cat owl, and little horned owl.
October 17, 2015
I like to explore the preserve after a good rain; it is when the riparian woods are the most alive. After last night and this morning’s much needed rain shower I was excited to go out and see what was new. I didn’t even make it to the first big granary tree on the main trail before I noticed something was…weird.
October 15, 2015
There is a cottonwood tree close to the river, past where the observation trail fades into cobbles; the bare forked top branches have long been the favorite perch for a certain male Anna’s Hummingbird. The sight of this hummer has been a consistent and reliable one that I’ve come to enjoy keeping an eye out for when taking this trail to the river.
October 04, 2015
Perhaps not our most cute and cuddly critter, but there is definitely a coolness and fascination factor to these spiders of enormous size that I couldn't pass up. I mean, I wouldn't want to find one in my house, but observing them in the preserve I think is pretty cool. Last Friday I was at the nature study pond with Paul and a local eagle scout surveying for a cattail removal service project that will allow visitors to actually see the pond
September 30, 2015
Fall is my absolute favorite time of year to spend outdoors. The American Parkway becomes a beautiful and different world to visit altogether. Not only do the sights and smells change, but you can also hear the calls and songs of migratory birds, announcing the change of season with their arrival.