• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

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  • Road Construction Delays on Park Roads for 2014 Season

    Expect occasional 15-minute to 1-hour delays in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on weekdays only (times vary), including delays to/from the General Sherman Tree, Crystal Cave, and Grant Grove. More »

  • Vehicle Length Limits in Sequoia National Park (if Entering/Exiting Hwy 198)

    Planning to see the "Big Trees" in Sequoia National Park? If you enter/exit via Hwy. 198, and your vehicle is longer than 22 feet (combined length), please pay close attention to vehicle length advisories for your safety and the safety of others. More »

  • You May Have Trouble Calling Us

    We are experiencing technical problems receiving incoming phone calls. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please send us an email to SEKI_Interpretation@nps.gov or check the "More" link for trip-planning information. More »

Birds

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks' 863,741 acres provide habitat for over 200 species of birds, including many neotropical migrants. Park biologists monitor birds to obtain more information about individual species and also because they are indicator species of local and regional change for the larger ecosystem. Documented effects of DDT on peregrine falcons and brown-headed cowbird nest parasitism on songbirds have alerted us to the dangers of pesticides and over-development. In the Sierra Nevada, these factors are implicated in the precipitous decline of the willow flycatcher.
 
Oriole perches on a twig

Male Bullock’s Orioles stand out like living embers in the green foliage of Sierran trees. These birds are fairly common in the foothill woodlands throughout the spring and summer.

NPS Photo

Several monitoring programs are currently underway. Park staff record peregrine falcon activity on an annual basis, the Sequoia National Forest conducts annual California spotted owl surveys both adjacent to and within park boundaries, and in 2000, wildlife biologists coordinated the first annual SEKI Christmas Bird Count. In 1991 and 1992, the Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) operated two MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) bird-banding stations in Kings Canyon. The parks have recently received funding to reestablish these stations. Park staff are seeking funds for a needed park-wide bird distribution and abundance survey. In 2000, the IBP completed an assessment of backcountry meadows in the parks to recommend which ones should be designated Important Bird Areas. In 1995 and 1996, baseline data were collected on brown-headed cowbirds - an obligatory nest parasite which drastically reduced the nesting success of host species and their numbers will be monitored in the future.

Sightings

In 2000, we recorded two rare sightings, a gyrfalcon and a great gray owl.

Did You Know?

The Four Guardsmen (four sequoias), with the Generals Highway running between them.

Sometimes you will see sequoias in a straight row. This may happen because sequoia seeds prefer mineral-rich burned ground. When a fallen log burns long and hot, it leaves a strip of bare mineral-rich soil — an ideal place for new sequoias to grow. Years later, we see a line of sequoias!