Nature Quiz: How well do you know your local environment?

  1. In Ventura, if you stand at the beach and point out to the ocean, what direction on the compass are you pointing?

  2. Name three wild animals that live around our town:

  3. Name two marine mammals that live and travel just off our coast ?

  4. How many endangered species in our area can you name?

  5. What insects are thought to be beneficial in our area for agriculture and gardens?

  6. Name a bird that loves to eat mosquitoes?

  7. Name a plant that is a parasite and grows in trees locally?

  8. Where do mosquitoes lay their eggs?

  9. How do frogs breath?

  10. What is water called in the estuary that is a mix of salt and fresh water?

  11. What was the staple food source in Ventura and Ojai for the native people?

  12. What is the name of our local Native Americans?

  13. What local bird is taller than most three year olds and eats gophers, frogs and fish?

  14. Where do our two main watershed rivers empty into the ocean?

  15. What is the dam called at the top of the Ventura River that they are about to take down?

  16. Name 3 plants in your area which are poisonous to eat?

  17. Which plant growing locally is known to natives of the region for it’s effectiveness in aiding insect bites or stings and how is it used?

  18. Name one plant that is edible?

  19. What time of day is least active for birdsong and calls?

  20. Name two trees you would look for to indicate the presence of water on the landscape?

  21. Name one plant in your area poisonous to touch?

  22. What is the one and only poisonous snake in our area?

  23. What plant is known for being edible, poisonous, medicinal and a good wood for making whistles with all in one plant?

  24. What is one of the most dangerous spiders of your area and how do you identify it?

  25. List two mast (nut producing) trees in your area?

  26. List four types of edible berries in your area:

  27. Where does your home gets it’s water?

  28. What is the name of the closest river to your house?

  29. What is the most common soaring bird in your area?

  30. Name one plant in your area good for making cordage (string or rope)?

  31. What is your favorite hiking trail in your home town?

Nature Quiz: ANSWERS

Before you look at these answers, challenge yourself to ask someone you know or find a book about local wildlife. Find someone you know that loves hiking and nature and ask them!  If you look at the answers below, now discover something MORE about the answer – not just the name, but something really cool – and find an example outside on a walk, and email me at and tell me about it. I have a special gift to anyone that emails me their stories, questions and answers.

  1. South – look at a map of california – find Ventura and you will see why.
  2. Fox, Raccoon, Coyote, Bobcat, western pond turtle, pacific tree frog, great blue heron, snowy egret, plover, packrat…to name a few!
  3. Grey Whale, bottlenose dolphin, common harbor porpoise, great blue whale, and many more
    1. Blue whale. Species: Balaenoptera musculus. …
    2. Leatherback sea turtle. Species: Dermochelys coriacea. …
    3. Island fox. Species: Urocyon littoralis. …
    4. Humpback Whale. Species: Megaptera novaeangliae. …
    5. Southern sea otter. Species: Enhydra lutris nereis. …
    6. Steelhead trout. Species: Oncorhynchus mykiss. …
    7. Unarmored threespine stickleback.
    8. (for more, visit
  4. What insects are thought to be beneficial in our area for agriculture and gardens?
    1. Ladybugs
    2. Ground beetles
    3. Green lacewings
    4. Braconid wasps
    5. Preying mantis
    6. Spiders
    7. Aphid midges
    8. (for more, visit
  5. Swallows!
  6. Mistletoe
  7. In stagnant water
  8. Through their skin!
  9. Brackish
  10. Acorns
  11. Chumash
  12. Great blue heron
  13. Santa Clara River empties out near McGrath State Park, and the Ventura River empties out at Emma Wood and Surfer’s Point.
  14. Matilija Dam
  15. Water Hemlock, Nightshade, Poison oak, Datura (Jimsonweed or Angel’s Trumpet, silver lupine
  16. Plantain
  17. Black walnut, cattail, yucca, elderberry, blackberry, currant, soap root, burdock, clovers, chicory, chickweed, curlydock, dandelion, kelp, prickly pear cactus, watercress, purslane, white mustard and many more. Visit
  18. Middle of the day
  19. Cottonwood, sycamore, willow
  20. Poison oak, stinging nettle, poodle dog bush
  21. Rattlesnake
  22. Elderberry
  23. Black widow and Brown recluse
  24. Acorn and Black Walnut
  25. Blackberries, wild currant, elderberry, holly-leaf cherry, prickly pear cactus, sumac
  26. Where does your home gets it’s water?
  27. What is the name of the closest river to your house?
  28. What is the most common soaring bird in your area?
    1. Red-tailed Hawk. commonest hawk with reddish tail
    2. Red-shouldered Hawk
    3. Bald Eagle. Huge bird of prey
    4. Osprey. Dives in to water after fish
    5. Sharp-shinned Hawk
    6. Cooper’s Hawk
    7. Turkey Vulture
    8. American Kestrel
  29. Yucca, plantain, cattail
  30. What is your favorite hiking trail in your home town?