ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Animals in the City ~ San Francisco

Updated on March 7, 2013

Children Love Animals

If you have children and you live in San Francisco or are visiting, it's always fun to play "spot the animal." There are plenty of animal species in this vibrant city to find if you only begin to look. What follows are some of the animals I have found while walking throughout beautiful San Francisco.

Pigeons and Doves

Having been around since at least Roman days, pooping on statues, pigeons may just be the most sighted city animal, especially when you're downtown. They're considered enough of a menace that buildings now have pigeon ledges, which have wires sprouting up to discourage pigeons from roosting there. Still, what would a city be without pigeons and doves cooing in the background?

While doves are a less common sight in the city, I have come across them occasionally and find them to be lovely creatures. They are said to have a more aggressive personality than pigeons, despite their genteel appearance.

City pigeons.
City pigeons. | Source

The Parrots of Telegraph Hill

San Francisco is home to a flock of green parrots. They are famous and even have a documentary made about them called, "The Parrots of Telegraph Hill."

The parrots are wild and believed to originate from an escaped domestic pair of Red-masked parrots. They can be seen occasionally flying around Telegraph Hill and the large trees of the Embarcadero. I have seen the flock twice ~ once flying between two trees near Fisherman's Wharf, and once close to the Embarcadero malls and the Ferry Building, bouncing and floating around the trees and the grass area. They are quite an impressive sight and I encourage you to look for them if you are visiting San Francisco.

Hippo eye.
Hippo eye. | Source

The San Francisco Zoo

All kinds of animals can be seen with a visit to the San Francisco zoo. This world famous zoo is at the far end of the Sunset, close to Ocean Beach. Because of its proximity to the ocean I recommend dressing warmly when you visit. This is a popular destination for those visiting the city and for San Franciscans, especially those with children. Zoos are great for educating children about animals and their endangerment, and also help to keep many wildlife populations from extinction.

Turtles and More...

Turtles can be seen at Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park. They often line up on a log of wood that jets out of the lake near the boat dock. If you rent a boat, or just hike the little island, you're sure to see more wildlife including ducks, geese, squirrels, herons, and possibly a mouse or two.


Wild deer have been spotted in Golden Gate Park, although finding them is not easy and a rare sighting should be appreciated if you should luck out. Please keep quiet and keep your distance. We share the park with them and they deserve respect and privacy.

A bison in the city.
A bison in the city. | Source


San Francisco is home to a herd of bison, right in the depths of Golden Gate Park! The best way to see them is to take a bike ride out to them so you can easily stop and take pictures as Golden Gate Park is very popular and parking can be a problem. On Sundays many roads in the Park are closed to cars so that the bikers and joggers can get their groove on. The bison can be found in an enclosure in the farther Avenues, around the 30s or so, within Golden Gate Park. Look for maps along park roads to help you locate them.


Because of residential encroachment on wild land, skunks can make the occasional appearance in the streets of San Francisco, particularly in the more quiet residential neighborhoods like the rich Pacific Heights neighborhood. I have seen them at night while out on a run in the Outer Richmond near the coast. Once in a while the skunk smell permeates the neighborhood. It is best to keep your distance with these cute, quiet creatures.

City raccoons are spotted most commonly at night.
City raccoons are spotted most commonly at night. | Source


Raccoons can be seen at night, particularly near the homes by the Presidio and in the Inner Richmond, but there are many neighborhoods in San Francisco that they call home. Occasionally they scamper from home to home or apartment complex to apartment complex, keeping in the dark alley ways and often going unnoticed (that is, until the next morning when the owner finds their garbage cans disturbed!) Because they are nocturnal, you will more often see them at night or in the late evening, so keep an eye out.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • carozy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks again for stopping by Joanne! Nice to find another local hubber!

    • profile image

      Joanne M Olivieri 

      5 years ago

      Just stumbled across this hub and love it. The raccoon in the city are a problem at least out here in the sunset.

      I have never seen the deer in GGP but would love to someday and I like your statement on respecting the animals in the park as it is their home and we simply share it with them.

      Great hub.

    • carozy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you viewfinders! :)

    • viewfinders profile image


      5 years ago from India

      good one ,thanks for sharing with us .voted useful

    • carozy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks tirelesstraveler!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      5 years ago from California

      Nice hub! Glad to see you active on Hub Pages.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)