How to play: Download the bingo card Look for animals in your city Take pictures of the animals you see Check off animals as you see them When you get a bingo, post what you saw on social media and tag @SkypeAScientist (on instagram), or @SkypeScientist on twitter!
Hawk Hawks are predatory birds who eat rodents and sometimes even other birds! We have at least two species of Hawks that live in our neighborhood: Coopers Hawks and Red Tailed Hawks. This hawk here is a red tailed hawk! Red-tailed hawks are the most common hawk in San Diego County. photocredit: Andrea Vale
Ladybugs are a diverse group of beetles that live all over the world! In Europe, they're usually called "Ladybirds" instead of ladybugs! Gardeners love ladybugs because they will often eat other insects that can harm plants that humans like to grow!More than 100 species of ladybugs live in California.
Monarch Butterfly Monarch butterflies are bright orange with black and white polka-dotted bodies! They have bright colors as a warning to predators- don't eat me! I'm toxic! They can eat plants that would make other animals sick, then put those toxins into their own bodies as defense! Each year, thousands of Western Monarch Butterflies choose San Diego as their overwintering site. Monarchs caterpillars eat milkweed.
Sparrow Sparrows love people! You usually find them living in places where people live, like cities and populated suburbs. They tend to stay away from dense forests, grasslands, or deserts. There are many varieties of sparrows that live in San Diego. White-crowned Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and House Sparrows are very common throughout San Diego County. photocredit: Jaedyn Ruli
Seal San Diego is famous for its pinnipeds, seals and sea lions. The Harbor Seal can be spotted in San Diego Bay, Shelter Island, La Jolla, and Sunset Cliffs are great spots to look for seals. Harbor seals are gray. They have small flippers and wiggle on their belly when they are on land. They usually keep to themselves unless it is pupping season. Photocredit: Andrew Reding
Hummingbird Listen for the telltale buzz and you’ll know a hummingbird is nearby! Most hummingbirds have metallic or iridescent colored feathers. Even though hummingbirds are small in size, they have a large appetite. They spend most of the day zipping around eating nectar and small bugs. Hummingbirds are not very social, you will usually spot them alone. San Diego County is home to three hummingbird species, Anna’s, Allen’s, and Costa’s hummingbirds. Spring and Summer are good seasons to look for hummingbirds. Photocredit: Dario
Praying Mantis Praying mantises are voracious predators! They attack their food with their sharp "praying" hands. Praying mantises are very helpful in the garden or yard, they eat pests without damaging plants. The California mantis is smaller than some species, and is usually up to 2 1/2 inches long. The California mantis can be found in a variety of colors such as brown, yellow, and green to help it blend into its different environments.
Pelican Brown pelicans are a common site along the San Diego coast. Pelicans have long bills with a stretchy throat pouch they use for capturing fish. Webbing between their toes making them awesome swimmers. Pelicans are social birds and fly in flocks. The American white pelican also visit San Diego in the winter. Photocredit: BJ Stacey
Western Fence Lizard The Western fence lizard lives in various habitats and is the most common lizard in California. These reptiles like to sun themselves on rocks, pathways, and fences. They eat mosquitoes, beetles, grasshoppers, ticks, and other bugs. Photocredit Steven Kurniawidjaja
Pillbugs may look like insects, but they're actually crustaceans! They're more closely related to lobsters than lightning bugs. Look under planters and rocks to find these cuties. Pill bugs roll into a ball when disturbed, that’s why many people call them roly-poly bugs. Another species commonly mistaken as the pill bug is the sow bug. Sow bugs are flatter than pill bugs and are unable to fully roll into a sphere. Look under planters and rocks to find these cuties.
Raccoon Raccoons are nocturnal which means they come out at night! Raccoons are particularly good at adapting to humans being in their environment, so you can often find them in cities like ours! Raccoons forage at night and often tip over garbage cans, eat leftover pet food that is left outside, forage in the soil for grubs and worms.
Photocredit: Jan Johnston
Cocoon Cocoons are the stage of life in between a caterpillar and a moth or butterfly! Look for cocoons under leaves on plants that caterpillars like to eat. Milkweed is a great place to look!
California Ground Squirrel California Ground Squirrels are widespread throughout San Diego County from the coast to mountain regions. They can be seen running and climbing through parks, fields, and cliffs. They eat seeds, berries, leaves, woody plants and sometimes even insects and grasshoppers. The California Ground Squirrel predators include rattlesnakes, raccoons, badgers, foxes, weasels, and some birds of prey like eagles.
Photocred: Howard Cheng
A gray moth Moths come in many colors, but lots of moths are gray! Some moths are yellow, or orange, or white or blue, and many other colors. Look for moths near lights at night. Popular varieties found in San Diego include White-lined Sphinx, Ceanothus Silk Moth, and the Mexican Tiger Moth.
Swallowtail Butterfly Butterflies are beautiful! But they also like to drink puddles of pee and poop. That's how they get some of their nutrients, in addition to the nectar they drink from flowers! The Anise Swallowtail is this most common swallowtail in the San Diego region. It confuses predators with its fake eyes and antennae on its hind wings.
Domestic Dog There are over 360 breeds of Domestic dogs, all of which descended from wolves! The wolf that domestic dogs were domesticated from is no longer alive today, but the gray wolf is the ancient wolf's closest living relative. Dogs were domesticated over 15,000 years ago!
Black Phoebe Bird The Black Phoebe has a black body and white belly and is easy to spot with its straight and thin pointy bill. They often sit in the open scanning for insects. Black Phoebes use mud to build cup-shaped nests against walls, overhangs, culverts, and bridges. Look for them near any water source from small streams in the suburbs to the rocks and cliffs of the Pacific Ocean. They may even use your backyard as a place to catch insects or build nests. Photocredit: Ingrid Taylar
Harvester Ant There are many types of ants found in San Diego. Many of these ants are invasive pests and not nice to have around. Harvester ants however play an important ecological role as scavengers and seed dispersers. They are also a nice meal for the Horned Lizard. California Harvester ants are only active in the daytime during warmer weather. Photocred: Chris Evers
California Scrub Jay California scrub jays are a super smart member of the corvid family! They love to eat peanuts. They typically fly in small groups. Due to their blue-and-gray coloring, the California scrub jay is often called the "blue jay" of parks and neighborhoods. Although they do share the same coloring, scrub jays are crestless, they do not have tufted head feathers. Photocredit: Dawn Beattie
Pigeon Pigeons are the world's oldest domesticated bird- Some scientists think they were domesticated as long as 10,000 years ago! Rock Doves are very common in San Diego and are what everyone refers to as a “pigeon.” They are almost exclusively found in urban areas. You have probably seen them gathering in huge flocks in city parks, hoping to get some food left in the trash.
Sea Lion Sea lions are an icon of the California coast! They bark loudly to communicate with each other. Just like the Harbor Seal, the California Sea Lion is easy to spot along the beaches of San Diego. Look for Sea Lions on docks and along the coast in La Jolla! Sea lions are brownish in color and have large flippers that they use to help them move on land. One way to tell if you're looking at a sea lion or a seal is to look for ears. If you see ears, it’s a sea lion! Sea lions are also more social than seals, so you will probably see them in a group. Photocredit: Ruben Undheim
Honey Bee Honey bees are a domesticated insect! When you see a honeybee it might go back to someone's back yard and make honey for one of your neighbors! Sometimes you hear them before you see them. Bees are specialized insects called pollinators. They gather nectar and pollen from flowers. As pollinators, they play a very important role in ecosystems worldwide.
Domestic cats come in many colors! They are excellent buddies and wonderful pets. Historians think that humans have lived with domestic cats since 7500 BC!
Unfortunately, if you see a kitty cat outside, they might be posing a danger to birds. Domestic cats should stay indoors for their safety and the safety of native wildlife.
Gull Sometimes gulls live near the coast, and sometimes they live in parking lots in the midwest! They are "opportunistic feeders", eating everything from sea stars and crabs to french fries! Here in San Diego, the Ring-billed Gull is the most common Gull and is often called a seagull. Seagulls can drink both fresh and salt water. They are often aggressive and have been known to take food away from beach goers not keeping a close eye on their picnic.