About the Site
Crater Lake National Park  


Park History

The Lake

The Boat

Wizard Island

The Phantom Ship

North Rim

East Rim

South Rim

West Rim

Llao Rock

Sun Notch

Mt. Scott

Park Mountains

Mt. Thielsen

Peripheral Views

Pumice Desert

The Pinnacles

Godfrey Glen

Crater Lake Lodge

Visitor Facilities


Rim Drive



Birds & Animals

Evening & Sunset


Birds and Animals

Crater Lake is host to a wide variety of animals, include many large mammals, such as black bears and Roosevelt elk. However, most of these animals are very difficult to see as they stay away from populated or traveled areas and can hide easily in the heavily forested land.

Two types of animals which are not hard to find are chipmunks and ground squirrels which can be found along the rim and in many other places in the park. The creature below is a golden mantle ground squirrel, with no stripes on its face. These animals are quite active in the summer but hibernate during the extreme winter season. They are probably most common of animals in the park. The animals are not above an effort to try to acquire food from visitors, although as at all national parks feeding wild animals here is prohibited as it may be injurious to them.

And here is a chipmunk enjoying a snack. These animals may be distinguished from the golden mantle ground squirrel by the presence of stripes on his (or her) face which can be clearly seen below.

There are many birds along the rim and in the forests of Crater Lake as well. In fact, over 200 species of birds either live in the park or migrate through it. The bird below is Clark's nutcracker perched on the roof of a building in Rim Village. A hardy, and very noisy, type of jay, related to other jays, crows, magpies, and ravens, Clark's nutcrackers fulfill an especially important role in the life of the rim as they are the primary vehicle by which the seeds of the whitebark pine are spread. The birds subsist largely on the pine nuts, and have a special pouch in their cheek for temporary storage of these nuts. The birds collect conifer seeds and disseminate them by burying them in various places.

Another bird commonly seen along the rim of the caldera is the raven, pictured below. This is North America's largest songbird. This bird may be seen soaring above the rim and performing aerial maneuvers. It feeds on insects, rodents, worms, frogs, snakes, young rabbits, and the eggs of other birds. It is famous for robbing the nests of other birds and destroying their young.

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  • All photographs ©Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital Imaging, 1994-2013

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