California Ground Squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi)

The California ground squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi, is a commonly found and easily observed rodent. While they can be mistaken for a tree squirrel after a quick glance, California ground squirrels have a short tail that is less bushy than a tree squirrel’s tail.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)


Putah Creek is a productive and popular fishery for local and nationwide fisherman, but one of the most proficient and impressive anglers of Putah Creek is the osprey.

North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis)


One of the most beloved critters of Putah Creek is the North American river otter. This charismatic, semiaquatic mammal has been spotted all along Putah Creek, from the Putah Creek State Wildlife Area below Lake Berryessa to the Yolo Bypass.

Sandbar willow (salix exigua)

Sandbar Willow

Willow species along Putah Creek can be notoriously difficult to identify due to their similar characteristics and what appears to be very minute differences to the untrained eye. Sandbar willow (salix exigua) might be an exception.

Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)

Black-Tailed Deer

The black tailed deer might not be super common throughout Lower Putah Creek, but spend some time at Lake Solano or in the inter-dam reach and you are sure to see plenty of deer jumping, running, or staring right at you.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Blue Heron

Often poised on the stream bank standing as still as a statue, Great blue herons are majestic and somewhat intimidating. Whether it be at Lake Solano Park or the South Fork Preserve in Davis, you are sure to spot a Great blue heron somewhere along the creek.

California Blackberry (Rubus ursinus)

California Blackberry

A favorite summer activity for many is swimming along Putah Creek, breaking every once in a while to munch on the blackberries that line the creek. It’s hard to resist the sweet flavors of a blackberry, but what kind of blackberries are along the creek?

California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae)

California Kingsnake

Although many snakes are highly venomous and a genuine cause for concern, some species are much more benign and even help with pest control! One of these friendly species is the California King snake.