Thanks to heavy rains, giant ferns, colossal trees and other plant life that provide a welcoming canopy, the coastal forest along America's Pacific coast is rife with all types of wildlife. Some of the animals, like the black bear or bobcat, are fearful and predatory, while others, such as the chipmunks and frogs, are downright adorable. All should be treated with respect.
Black bears are probably the most notorious--and powerful--animals to dwell in the coastal forest, but other large and medium beasts also roam around. Bobcats and wolves are other powerful creatures, as are the smaller wolverines. Mule deer, foxes and elk, or wapiti, are other common denizens. Dozens of smaller critters will always be heard scurrying through the dense forest underbrush. Gophers, voles, woodrats, field mice, muskrats, moles, rabbits and beavers are common, as are skunks, shrews and chipmunks. Don't forget to look skyward at dusk to check out the dance of the various bats.
The coastal forest is one of the prime bird-watching havens in the entire United States. Hundreds of different species make their homes in the vast stretch of welcoming woods. Some of the most common include a number of different finches, chickadees, hummingbirds and wrens. Others are the traditional crows, robins and pigeons along with the amazing plovers, pelicans and kingfishers. Swallows, warblers and grouse are a few of the other feathered finds. Larger birds, such as owls, hawks, turkey vultures and the impressive bald eagle, also call the coastal forest home.
Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles
Any streams running through or near the forest will surely be stocked with salmon and steelhead trout, while the surrounding banks and marshy areas will have their share of residents. A number of different newts, salamanders and frogs are found in the coastal forest, as are skinks, garder snakes and gopher snakes.
Bugs, slugs and spiders are also teeming in the coastal forest. You'll find beetles, millipedes and even freshwater mussels. One of the most notable--and noted--coastal forest denizen is the big, fat, bright yellow banana slug.