The Summit is home to many animals. Wild turkeys and black-tailed deer are so common here that signs warn motorists to be observant.
- Birds – A variety of birds inhabit The Summit. Here’s a list of those most frequently observed
- Acorn Woodpeckers – large, bright red patch on head, body black and white
- Wild Turkey – Very large iridescent brown and multicolored feathers with red beard, blue face and fan tail (male), large brown (female)
- Black-eyed Junko – Small, dark head, brown body, pink beak, often feed on ground
- Western Bluebirds – Medium, brilliant blue-purple plumage with auburn highlights (male), grey with blue wings, tail and rump (female), swoops from tree branches to capture grubs, worms
- Brewer’s Blackbird – Medium, shiny blue-black head and back with bright yellow eyes (male), brown (female), large flocks
- House Finch – Small, red-tinged head and shoulders (male), brown (female)
- Lesser Goldfinch – The canaries of El Dorado Hills with bright yellow chests and greenish backs (male), lighter yellow/brown (female)
- Mourning Doves – large, pink/brown with dots, mournful coo
- Oak Titmouse – Small, buff to grey with a crested head
- Turkey Vulture – Very large, black with red heads, seen soaring and circling above The Summit
- White-breasted Nuthatches – Small, grey-blue backs, white breasts, climbs down and up tree trunks, head-first
At Folsom Lake SRA, you’ll see gulls, grebes, Canada geese, mallard ducks, herons, scrub jay, quail, bushtits, wrens, eagles, red-tailed hawks, towhees, white pelicans, red-winged blackbirds (in marshes) and other species that sometimes pass through The Summit.
- Mammals – Commonly seen inside The Summit are black-tailed deer, ground squirrels, tree squirrels, raccoons, black-tailed jackrabbits and skunks. Rarely seen within The Summit, but common within the State Recreation Area, are mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats (see Mountain Lions, below). Coyotes are not to be confused with dogs. Although they are in the canine family, coyotes are wild predators that will attack and eat small pets. Caution is advised. Black bears pass through El Dorado Hills infrequently on foraging trips.
- Reptiles – Frogs, gopher snakes, garter snakes, a variety of lizards and western rattlesnakes inhabit the area.
Mountain lions are quiet, solitary and elusive, and typically avoid people. Mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare. However, mountain lions have been seen in common areas and on residential properties inside The Summit. The California Department of Fish and Game recommends:
- Do not hike, bike, or jog alone.
- Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, and at night.
- Keep a close watch on small children when outside, particularly during the above times of day.
- Pick up small children while avoiding crouching down.
- Do not approach a mountain lion.
- If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects.
- If attacked, fight back.
- Call 911 immediately, should a mountain lion attack a person.
- Don’t feed deer; it is illegal in California and it will attract mountain lions.
- Deer-proof your landscaping by avoiding plants that deer like to eat. For tips, request A Gardener’s Guide to Preventing Deer Damage from DFG offices.
- Trim brush to reduce hiding places for mountain lions.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
- Don’t allow pets outside when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, and at night.
- Bring pet food inside to avoid attracting raccoons, opossums and other potential mountain lion prey
Reporting Wildlife Incidents
Should you see an injured or dead wild animal call the State Park dispatcher at 916-358-1300 and report: type of injury, type of animal, time and location where animal was last seen. Do not touch or approach the animal. Sightings of mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, black bears or other predators should not be reported unless the animal is threatening people or farm animals.