Friends of Blue Sky

 Mixed Chaparral Habitat in Blue Sky Canyon

Chaparral in Blue Sky CanyonThe mixed chaparral of Blue Sky Reserve is composed of shrubs with small to broad leaves with woody stiff stems. The very dense shrub growth is 3-13 feet high and often nearly impenetrable. It is very hard to hike through.

Although it gets 10-25 inches a year of rainfall, this habitat is subject to fire and very well adapted to it. Shrubs tend to root crown (sprout) after a fire.

Mixed chaparral is usually, but not always, found at higher elevations, 1,000-1,400 ft., than sage scrub. Plants have adapted to cut down on water loss with thick waxy or folding leaves.

Blue Sky has approximately 143.5 acres of this and chamise chaparral habitat, which is 35% of the total property of the reserve. 

Photos of plants | Photos of Animals

Plants of this habitat

Ceanothus (many species)- also called wild lilac
Our Lord’s Candle - Hesperoyyucca whipplei
Scrub oak – Quercus berberbidifolia
Holly leaf redberry- Rhamnus ilicifolia
Toyon- Heteromeles arbutifolia
Mission Manzanita- Xylococcus bicolor
Mountain mahogany- Cerocarpus minutiflorus
Sugar Bush- Rhus ovata
Chamise – Adenostoma fasciculatum- also found in habitat known as "Chamise Chaparral"

Animals of this habitat:

Reptiles and Amphibians
Spadefoot toad- Spea hammondii
Slender salamander- Batraschoseps attenuatus
Coast (Sand Diego) horned lizard (rare)- Phrynosoma coronatum
California striped whip snake (very common)- Masticophis lateralis
California kingsnake- Lampropeltis getula
Western Rattlesnake (Southern Pacific subspecies)- Crotalus viridis

Birds
Wrentit- Chamaesa fasciata
Bushtit- Psaltriparus minimus
California Thrasher- Toxostoma redivivum
Scrub Jay- Aphelocoma californica
California Towhee- Pipilo crissalis
More about our Chaparral birds

Mammals
Coyote- Canis latrans
Mule deer- Odocoileus hemionus
Big-eared woodrat- Neotoma fuscipes
Deer mouse- Peromyscus maniculatus
Striped skunk- Mephitis mephitis

Invertebrates
Ceanothus moth
Oak gall wasp-Family Sphecidiae
Western tiger swallowtail butterfly-Papilio rutulus
Ambush bug