Wildlife of the Guadalupe River Park

Where the Wild Things Are!

Birds in the Park

You might find these birds in the fields, gardens, or riparian (river) corridor – White and Golden-Crowned Sparrows, California Scrubs Jays, American Robins, Brewer’s Blackbirds, Starlings, American Kestrels, Black Phoebe, Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Anna’s Hummingbird, Northern Mockingbird, California Towhee.

Riparian Corridor – Those listed above, plus the Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Mallard, Pied-Billed Grebe, American Coot, Red-Winged Blackbird, Song Sparrow.

Other Birds in the Park – Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Downy Woodpecker, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Common Merganser, Townsend’s Warbler, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat.

Fish in the River

Native fish to the Guadalupe River -Sacramento Sucker, Prickly Sculpin, Riffle Sculpin, Threespine Stickleback, California Roach, Pacific Lamprey, Steelhead Rainbow Trout.

Some fish found in the Guadalupe River are native to California but not to the Guadalupe River – Chinook Salmon, Chum Salmon, Pink Salmon, Hitch, Tule Perch

Mammals all around!

One of the more visible animals seen on the Guadalupe River Trail is the Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus). Jackrabbits are members of the order Lagamorpha, which comes from the Greek words lagos for “hare” and morphe meaning “form”. The order includes hares, rabbits, and pikas. Many people mistake rabbits and hares for large members of the rodent family. Lagomorphs, unlike rodents, have four (4) incisors in their upper jaw (rodents have only two incisors) and Lagomorphs will, for the most part, eat only vegetation while rodents will eat both meat and vegetation. 

You may be even more surprised to find the river, even in the heart of downtown, is home to a thriving population of Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis).

The Striped Skunk is found throughout most of California. About the size of a large house cat these handsome animals sport a black coat with a wide white stripe starting at the head, going down the back to the tail. The tail is thick, full, and bushy and may have additional white hairs. While black and white is the most common color pattern, scientists have documented some variation including seal brown, all white, and yellow.

Visitors using the trail just after sunrise or just before sunset may see a Striped Skunk start out on it’s night time search for food. At least one family of 5 young have been seen near the Taylor St. over crossing and several adults have been seen from Coleman Ave. to Alviso. Like all wildlife, please watch from a respectful distance and never try to handle or capture any animal that appears sick or injured. Please report sick or injured wildlife to the park rangers or animal services.