Lassen Volcanic National Park

Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park
Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park (National Park Service)

Lassen Volcanic National Park lies at the southern extremity of the volcanic Cascade Mountain range, and north of the Sierra Nevada. To the east of the park spreads the high desert plateau of the Great Basin. Here at Lassen, one typically finds birds characteristic of all three regions.

Elevations in the park range from 5,200 to 10,457 feet, with attendant climatic changes influencing predominant plant and animal associations. Although summers are generally dry, with average daytime highs in the 70's and 80's at lower elevations, it can be cold and snowy any month of the year. Winters are severe, with average snow depths greater than 20 feet in places, and the higher peaks under snow nine to ten months of the year.

Mineral and Battle Creek Meadows experience milder winters and more precipitation in the form of rain at their 4,900-foot elevation, so some species descend only this far in winter. Battle Creek Meadows is also part of a mini east-west flyway between the Great Basin and the Sacramento Valley, and often harbors interesting migrants.

Birds are visible everywhere in the park, but look around the larger lower elevation lakes like Manzanita and Butte for the greatest variety; a wealth of habitats are found together and many birds can easily find food, shelter, and water.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 6 Jan 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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