Animal Facts

for the San Juan Islands Washington

There are no end of animal facts for the San Juan Islands Washington, mostly because there are so many animals living on and around the Islands. You'll find an animals facts page for raccoons, an animal facts page for birds, like the Red-winged Blackbird and the Rufous Hummingbird, as well as SO many other types of birds. Plus there are pages for Orca whales, Minke whales, Red Foxes, and plenty of Little Brown Bats!

There are too many animals to count or list, but look at some of the animal facts pages for animals in the Islands: Deer Facts, Facts about Flying Squirrels, Red Fox Facts, Sea Lion Facts, Killer Whale Facts, Hawk Facts.

It's sweet to see Black-tailed deer making their way through a field, or watching a Red Fox playfully bounding along a sunny trail. When you are driving on San Juan Island, though, you need to be alert to the risks that being in close proximity to these animals present.

Say you are driving along any of the idyllic San Juan Island roads, thoroughly enjoying the scenery, lulled into the tranquility of how lovely it all is. Ah, isn't that a statuesque tree? Look at that lovely blue sky! Yes, it's truly enchanting, but remember to keep your defensive driving skills sharp because when Island animals are around, it can quite literally change everything.

More animals facts: Black-tailed deer are perhaps the most commonly seen animal on the Island, and they have grown quite accustomed to being around people. They often graze right next to the road and sometimes don't even look up as cars pass. There is always the chance, however, that something spooks them as you pass and they run directly in front of your car just as you are driving by, and it isn't always possible to avoid hitting one. Keep in mind that if you see ONE, there is a very good chance that another one is right behind.

Whenever you see a deer along the road, my advice is to drive slowly past, leaving a good buffer for potential erratic behavior. Speaking from personal experience, those lithe, graceful animals can wreak havoc on a moving vehicle. Show healthy respect for their personal space and temperamental tendencies and you can almost ensure your safe passage along Island roads.

Photo courtesy of Dan Aurand, San Juan Island.

Red foxes seem quite a bit smarter about traffic than deer. I have seen foxes run directly AWAY from the road when cars pass, quickly gaining the safety provided by tree cover. Only occasionally have I seen a dead fox on the road. It's impossible to know whether the car was going too fast or whether the fox was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It's best to be aware that foxes are likely to be somewhere nearby and to keep your speed down, especially when you are driving through forested areas where visibility is low.

The same advice can be given for raccoons (see Raccoon Facts), although they move much more slowly than foxes. One doesn't see raccoons along the road nearly as often as foxes, and when you do it is mostly after dark. Night driving means using more caution anyway, but just be aware that one might suddenly appear in your headlights without warning. If startled, raccoons often climb rapidly up the nearest tree.

Cool Bald Eagle Story: In the summer of 2008 I was driving along Westside Road when I came around a corner and saw a bald eagle sitting in the road in front of me. It was sitting in the road eating a dead animal and when I approached, it took off. Instead of flying away to the side away, however, it flew straight ahead along the road, right in front of my car. It was an enormous bird and I swear its wingspan covered the entire center of the road. Huge!

Jump straight to these animal facts: Little Brown Bat Facts, Bird Facts, Cool Facts, Deer Facts, Red Fox Facts, Hawk Facts, Plant Facts, Raccoon Facts, Flying Squirrels, Sea Lion Facts, Minke Whales, Gray Whales, or Killer Whale Facts.

Return to Simply San Juan from Animal Facts.