Wildlife is an integral part of the Nature Preserve experience. The best way to see a variety of wildlife is to spend some time just standing or sitting quietly at any number of locations throughout the Preserve. The Observation Deck and Bird Blind are always popular as it overlooks the beaver pond and offers views of the wetlands and forest edge. River otters, beavers, frogs, turtles, and a wide variety of birds may be seen. A surprising array of species may be seen on the Interpretive Trail including snakes, salamanders, frogs, rabbits, and birds foraging in the low brush. Or, find your own spot to sit, watch, and listen to the natural world.


Mammals at the Preserve range from tiny moles and shrews to beavers, red fox, and coyotes. The most common mammal seen here and all throughout the urban environment is the gray squirrel as it forages for acorns and other seeds. All of our mammals are residents and can be seen year round.


Birds are the most visible wildlife at CSNP. Any time of day and in all types of weather, birds are searching for food, looking for mates, building nests, or resting during their long migration in the spring and fall. Our nature preserve and the surrounding neighborhood offers excellent habitat for many species of birds with wetlands, creeks, dense underbrush, and large trees.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptiles have a protective covering of scales or plates, five-clawed toes on each foot, and lungs instead of gills. Most reptiles eat other animals (as opposed to plants) and most lay eggs (venomous snakes give birth to live young). Reptiles at the Preserve include snakes, lizards, and turtles.

Amphibians have moist skin and their toes have no claws. Amphibious means “living a double life”. These animals are so called because they are usually born in water, then metamorphose from a larval stage to an adult form, such as in frogs changing from tadpoles to adults. Amphibians include frogs, toads, and salamanders.