Land Mammals

See which months these species may be seen
Return to Seasonal Calendar main page

Species Description
Gray Fox

Photo by Siegfried Matull

The Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is also called a Tree Fox because it can climb trees and jump from branch to branch. It has beautiful red highlights and a long bushy tail. It eats mice and other rodents, insects, birds, plants and fruits.

Mountain Lion

Photo by Craig Tooley
The Mountain Lion (Puma concolor), a beautiful, territorial creature native to the Americas, is also known as a Puma, Cougar, Panther or Catamount. A Mountain Lion is 4 to 6 feet long with a very long tail. A female weighs 80 - 130 pounds, a male 150 - 227 pounds. Deer are their preferred food.

Photo by Jon Raymond

The Bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a North American member of the cat family. They are 2 - 4 feet long, weigh 10 - 30 pounds and have bobbed tails and tufted ears. These cats are great gopher hunters here at Sea Ranch and can leap 10 feet in the air.
Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Photo by Rozanne Rapozo

The Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus), also known as the Desert Hare, is found in the Western US and Mexico. It has distinctive long ears and long, powerful rear legs. It needs shrubs and small conifers for cover and feeds on vegetation.
Brush Rabbit

Photo by Ferne Fedeli

The small Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani) is in the cottontail rabbit species, and is found in western coastal regions. It needs dense, brushy cover, in which it forms a network of runways. This adorable rabbit eats grasses, leaves and berries.
Black-tailed Deer

Photo by Steve Serdahley

The Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus columbianus) is common in Northern California, thriving on the edge of forests. Most active at dawn and dusk, they are often spotted on Sea Ranch meadows.
Bucks lose antlers

Photo by Sharon Nicodem

Bucks lose antlers every year in late January or February. Look for them where deer congregate. They will grow a new set in the spring.

Photo by Walt Rush

Fawns are born in the spring and spend most of their time with their mothers. Their white spotted coats allow them to blend in with leaves on the forest floor.

Bucks with large antlers

Photo by Clay Yale

A buck's antlers are his most unique feature. He uses them as a weapon of dominance over other bucks during breeding season.
The Rut

Photo by Siegfried Matull

The rut, or the breeding season, occurs in the fall with bucks often fighting for dominance.

Photo by Jack Matull

The Raccoon (Procyon lotor) is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. Omnivores, they are noted for their intelligence.
Western Gray Squirrel

Photo by Jeanelle Wilson

The Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus), a beautiful large squirrel with a big, bushy tail, is found on the western coast of the United States and Canada. It is a shy creature that eats pine nuts and acorns, as well as mushrooms, insects and berries. They jump from branch to branch as they traverse the forest.
Townsend Chipmunk

Photo by Jeanelle Wilson

The Townsend Chipmunk (Neotamias townsendii) is a member of the squirrel family and lives in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. It is shyer than other chipmunks and has a high pitched call, a series of "chip, chip, chip." It is an omnivore, eating plants, insects, berries and even bird's eggs.

Chickaree Douglas Squirrel

Photo by Jeanelle Wilson

The Chickaree Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasi) is also known as the Pine Squirrel. It is a small, lively bushy-tailed Squirrel with a white eye ring. This squirrel is fun to watch; it's active during the day, chattering noisily at intruders. They mostly eat seeds from coniferous trees.
Wild Turkey

Photo by Siegfried Matull

The Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is native to North America. Males are significantly bigger than the females. Wild Turkeys are agile flyers and have many different vocalizations. Fun fact - they have 5000 to 6000 feathers, so they won't miss that one you found on the driveway.
Striped Skunk

Photo by Siegfried Matull

The Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis), one of the most well-known land mammals, is omnivorous. It emits a highly unpleasant odor when it feels threatened. At sunrise it returns to its den, which may be in a burrow or under a building, a boulder or a rock pile.
Spotted Skunk

Photo by Emily Nelsen

The Western Spotted Skunk (Spilogale gracilis) is much smaller than the Striped Skunk, weighing only 1 to 3 pounds. They are often incorrectly called Civet Cats. Like Striped Skunks, they emit an extremely unpleasant scent when they feel threatened, and they are omnivores.

Photo by John Schacherer

The Opossum (Didelphimorphia), also called possum, is the largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere. They have a very broad diet that mostly consists of carrion. Many opossums are killed on the highway when scavenging for roadkill. They love fruit, especially apples and persimmons. Fun fact - they have more teeth than any other land mammal.

Photo by Allen Vinson

The Gopher (spermophilus Richardsonii) includes two main species: the Pocket Gopher and the Richardsons Ground Squirrel. They dig large networks of tunnels and chambers, which are called Gopher towns. They are hoarding mammals and store astonishing amounts of food.
Newborn Lambs

Photo by Jeanne Gadol

Newborns Lambs (Orvis aries) are baby sheep. Sheep were one of the earliest animals to be domesticated for agricultural purposes. Here at The Sea Ranch they are used for fuel reduction for fire safety purposes. They've become an attraction for locals and tourists alike.
Goat Kids

Photo by Rozanne Rapozo

Goat Kids (Capra aegagrus hircus) are a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. It is closely related to the sheep family. You will see them interspersed with the sheep herd here on Sea Ranch, munching away on the grasses.
Wild Pig

Photo by Mike Goran

Wild Pigs (Sus scrofa) in California are hybrids of Wild Boar and Feral (escaped domestic) Pigs. They forage for acorns, bulbs and wild onions. The Fish and Game Department. regard Wild Pigs as game animals.

See which months these species may be seen
Return to Seasonal Calendar main page