Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 18, 2013

Amphibians & Birds Of Crystal Springs 11/17/13 – updated

updated with corrections and additions

I just finished a two-day workshop with the Jepson Herbarium at UC Berkeley on “Amphibians and Reptiles of the San Francisco Bay Area”. Today was a field trip to Crystal Springs Reservoir. Although it was dry and we had our doubts about seeing much we did find six amphibians:

  • California Slender Salamander/Batrachoseps attenuatus
  • Yellow-eyed Ensatina/Ensantina eschscholtzii xanthoptica
  • Rough-skinned Newt/Taricha granulosa
  • California Newt/ Taricha torosa
  • Pacific Tree Frog/Pseudacris regilla
  • California Red-legged frog/Rana draytonii

We did not see any turtles, lizards or snakes today. I did include one photo of a Gopher Snake in the slideshow that I saw last week at Sibley Volcanic Preserve.

We saw 28 species of birds today. Most interesting behaviors were an American Kestrel and Red-tailed Hawk catching prey. Also seen today were Banana Slugs, Toyon berries and Snowberries.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Crystal Springs Bird List 11/17/13


  1. I still can’t say I confidently know the difference between rough-skinned and California newts. That rough-skinned newt you guys had was huge!


    • Some tips I learned that might help are:

      Rough Skinned Newts have Yellow eyes and brown eyelids and upend to have curved tails. They are usually found in still water such as ponds and favor open coastal oak bay habitats.

      California Newts have yellow eyes and yellow eyelids and tend to have straighter tails. They prefer moving water such as streams and are found in drier and coniferous areas.


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