Wildlife abounds in Plumas County

Wildlife Viewing

Photo by Jake Edwards

With so much open space, forest, and water around, you can’t help but run across some of Plumas County’s wild creatures. Viewing wildlife in their natural habitat is one of the area’s best (and free) attractions. Deer, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, and waterfowl are among the most popular and easy species to observe.

Each of the county’s larger lakes is home to at least one breeding pair of bald eagles. Lake Almanor hosts the largest population of wintering eagles and osprey.

Mule and black-tailed deer are easy to spot throughout the county in fields, hillsides, and in oak woodlands near Quincy, Taylorsville, and Genesee Valley. Black bear sightings are fairly common too on forested trails and in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Wildlife Viewing Sites 

The Antelope Lake-Indian Creek Wildlife Viewing Site, with its surrounding wet meadowlands, is an excellent place to see migratory waterfowl from April through November. Birds of prey and beaver can be seen year-round.

The Lake Davis Wildlife Viewing Site, also bordered by meadows and pines, offers nesting for Canada geese, tundra swans, pelicans, bald eagles, and ospreys, with the best viewing in spring and fall.  Deer and bats are also common.

In the eastern part of the county, Sierra Valley is a wildlife and birding hotspot with big wetlands and sagebrush range. While most of the valley is private ranch land, visit the Sierra Valley Preserve, with short nature trails, interpretive signs, and amazing views for family-friendly strolls.

Creatures that are easily seen are coyotes, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, and skunks. Occasionally bobcats, ringtail cats, and mountain lions are spotted, but trained observers can find their tracks more easily. Use a pair of binoculars to extend your view, maintain a safe distance, move quietly, and always respect wildlife–this is their home.

Biodiversity in the Feather River Watershed

Plumas County is home to the The Feather River watershed. This large watershed spans from granite alpine ecosystems at 10,000’ to arid and rocky foothill canyons at 2,000’ in elevation. With varied landscapes from fens to forests to near desert-like serpentine and volcanic soils, there are many types of life that thrive in these different environments. What does all this mean? The Feather River Watershed is a biodiversity hotspot! Thousands of native plants, abundant wildlife, and some of the biggest bird populations in the Sierra call the Feather River Watershed home.  Read our Blog “For the Love of the Feather River” to learn more about this spectacular watershed. 

Know Before You Go

  • Safety first! Always check weather and road conditions before an outing.
  • Leave no trace–take all trash with you, do not trample vegetation, and stay on designated roads and trails
  • Keep your distance and do not disturb wildlife. Learn more about ethical birding.
  • Leave dogs at home or on leash during nesting season, especially when visiting meadows and wetlands.
  • Never feed wildlife. Learn about food storage while camping.

Black Bears in Lassen

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to an estimated 50 black bears. Despite what their name implies, black bears can vary from blonde to brown to dark black.  Learn how to be bear aware!


Learn more about wildlife and biodiversity in Plumas County

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Discover more of Plumas County
Places to stay in Plumas County

Ada’s Garden Cottages are a gorgeous oasis hideaway in the center of historic downtown Quincy with full kitchens and cozy-custom-artful-architecture.

Bucks Lake

At bucks lake a quarter mile from marina. We are up in the northern Sierras Many places to fish and bike in the mountains. Close to the PCT trail

Lake Almanor

The Dorado Inn is a waterfront boutique resort, retreat and healing center located on the east shore of Lake Almanor, California.