Fowl Play: Wild Turkeys Flock and Waddle in the Watersheds

Often seen in flocks of five to fifty birds, wild turkeys are common in the SFPUC’s Alameda Creek and Peninsula watersheds, usually waddling slowly together in search of their next meal. The wild turkeys in the SFPUC’s watersheds, and occasionally wandering suburban streets, are not native to California. Most are descendants of farm-raised turkeys from…

Meet the Snake with Racing Stripes at the Alameda Creek Watershed

In the Sunol Valley, there is a special species of snake that lives in the Alameda Creek Watershed. It is no other than the Alameda whipsnake, or sometimes called the Alameda Striped Racer, (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus), a subspecies of the California whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis). It has made the coastal scrub, chaparral, and grassland habitats in…

Bats are Here and Everywhere

Today is Halloween and images of bats are everywhere. Just like the real thing. Bats are especially plentiful where there is water and warm weather. Bats are migratory creatures and need long stretches of land to hunt for insects. Development fragments their habitat making it difficult to be able to hunt and roost. Bats consume…

Watch Out for the Creepy Crawlies at Calaveras Dam

Fall is tarantula time in the Sunol Valley. The annual ‘tarantula migration’, which, begins in September through end of fall, is underway. Normally shy, living underground in burrows, and nocturnal, these hairy spiders are on the move. Turns out that after about five years of living alone (maturing in a burrow), male tarantulas head out in…

It is Tarantula Time in the Alameda Creek Watershed

September is the time when summer officially ends, and kids are back in school. In the SFPUC-owned lands of the Alameda Creek Watershed, September brings a different annual event: tarantula migration.  Because the 35,000 acres that the SFPUC owns are protected as a water source, they also provide a safe haven for all sorts of…

The Reason Why SFPUC Biologists Go Fishing

It is that time again. Time for the Trout Count. Biologists with the SFPUC have been working to estimate the total number of adult rainbow trout living in Calaveras Reservoir. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are a cold water species native to the rivers and lakes of North America. Like all native fishes, it’s important to…