North America is filled with fantastic wildlife and Maryland is no different. Animals in Maryland are plentiful with more than two hundred species, including mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, amphibians and some very dangerous invertebrates. In fact, you would be amazed to know Maryland has become one of the most populated states in the US with a diverse range of habitats.
Animals in Maryland have gained quite the attention being distinctive species which is why this state has become one of the major centres of attraction for tourists who come from all around the world to explore the wildlife here.
The wildlife of this state is also amusing for those who love to explore distinctive animal species and are looking for opportunities to study these animals in detail.
Wildlife here is populated with numerous raccoons, foxes, opossums, voles, porcupines, and other different kinds of animals. Maryland has both large grazers and large predators including snakes, bears and a variety of animal species.
So, if you’re looking to explore the wildlife of Maryland, go ahead and find out the amazing facts and learn more about the Animals in Maryland.
Types Of Animals In Maryland
Maryland is a state known for its numerous waterways and coastlines along the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay.
It is the homeland of around 90 mammal species, more than 90 reptile and amphibian species, over 400 bird species, and hundreds of fish species.
Full of predators, the state is a great source of attraction for tourists worldwide. Below mentioned is a list of animals that are native to Maryland.
Maryland is home to many snakes, but most are not venomous. Snakes in this area become active during the hot and humid summers and hibernate in the cold and dry winters.
You can find snakes throughout Maryland, from the forests to the grasslands and the waterways. When talking about types of snakes, there are more than 25 types of snakes, and some of those are mentioned below.
- Rat Snakes are 7 feet long, non-venomous, and usually not aggressive. It is one of the largest types of snakes found in Maryland.
- Northern Racer is black or dark brown in color and extremely fast. These snakes prefer areas where they can easily camouflage themselves, such as wooded and rocky areas.
- Eastern Copperhead: is hyper-alert when the sun is out, but when the heat becomes scorching hot, they become nocturnal. These snakes have a dark brown head, and their bodies have brown and black spots from neck to tail.
- Northern Brown Snake is the tiniest species of snake found in the state. These snakes are not venomous; they will not bother you unless you startle them by approaching the den.
Squirrels are one the cutest animals that you can find in the state. You can easily spot one moving around in the green fields. There are five types of squirrels native to Maryland.
- Gray Squirrels have large, bushy tails that help them to keep a perfect balance, shade, and swimming rudder. They usually mate in the winters and then build nests on trees. Gray squirrels eat nuts, including hickory, acorns, walnuts, and beechnuts, for a living.
- Red/Pine Squirrels are smaller than gray squirrels and live in Western Maryland’s evergreen trees. Pine squirrels have 1-2 litters of young each year and nest in tree cavities and in-ground dwellings. They do not allow other species of squirrels into their territory.
- Southern Flying Squirrels Unlike their name, they cannot fly and live in hardwood forests. They can glide from tree to tree by using extra skin folds between their front and hind legs.
- Fox Squirrels are heavier than other squirrel species and prefer to spend more time on the ground. They make nests in tree cavities or make them out of leaves. These squirrels breed in December and usually have around one-to-two litters of young per year.
Skunks come in several sizes and shapes in Maryland. They live in many habitats, including rural and urban. They are nocturnal and go dormant in the winters. These skunks make their homes in dense brush piles or woodchuck holes, as well as under decks and porches.
The skunks usually mate in spring, late February, and early March. Their young are born on average between late April and early June. Skunks are omnivorous but prefer eating insects, earthworms, mushrooms, and seasonal fruits and nuts.
The two kinds of skunks that are spotted in Maryland are as follows:
- Striped Skunks are about the size of a big cat and have fluffy haired bodies. Their forehead has a small white stripe that splits and expands down the sides of their back. They also have long, bushy tails covered in white and black hair.
- Spotted Skunks have white spots on their bodies. The spotted skunk is smaller in size and more elusive than striped skunks. They have a white spot between their eyes and are marked differently than the striped skunk.
Maryland is home to ten different species of bats. Just like humans, they have hair and feed their young with milk. All the bat species in Maryland consume insects such as mosquitos, moths, stink bugs, and others.
- Northern Long-Eared Bat color ranges from yellowish light brown to black, and they measure approximately 8.6 cm in length and weigh 5 to 8 g. Moths, beetles, flies, and leafhoppers are the primary foods of this insectivore.
- Hoary Bat is usually found resting alone in trees along forest edges. They use echolocation to fly at night and to locate food. Also, their hair is dark brown with white tips.
- Eastern Red Bat has long pointed wings, a big tail and small ears. They do not hibernate and remain in the same area all year. Eastern red bats come out in the evenings in woods and grasslands.
- Indiana Bat is a standard-sized social bat in Maryland. They live in forests and can be seen resting in trees. They have a lifespan of around fourteen years and they are said to be the endangered bat species.
Mice are well-known for causing numerous problems wherever they live, whether in the suburbs or agricultural areas. They carry harmful bacteria and diseases in their saliva and excrement that make people sick on their bodies.
House mice, white-footed mice, and deer mice are the most common types of mice in Maryland.
House Mice are most commonly found in populated urban areas with shops, stores and buildings. They typically seek refuge in commercial spaces such as shops or retail stores. They prefer the darkness and the absence of human disturbance, and they frequently emerge from their nests at night.
Field Mice/Deer Mice are either gray or brown, with white hair covering their underbellies. They have short tails about the length of their bodies. A person can become severely ill if they get infected by this mouse’s urine or droppings.
White Footed Mice are either red, brown, or gray, whereas the inner part of their belly is white. They have large ears and a two-toned tail, gray from above and white on the underside.
In Maryland, there are two types of foxes: red foxes and gray foxes. Being crepuscular— they are active at dawn and dusk as well as at night—both red and gray foxes share this trait. They are opportunistic feeders, eating small animals, birds, insects, fruit, etc.
They frequently seek easy food sources like rabbits, chicken coops, guinea pigs, and garbage. Depending on the region, foxes have different breeding seasons. They usually mate in the months of December, January and February.
Their pups are born in March and April and have a litter size of 3 to 6 on average.
- Gray Fox have gray upper fur, yellow underfur, and a black tail. They have coverable claws that help them climb easily. Gray foxes weigh approximately 12 pounds. Also, they are less vocal than red foxes, but they will bark or yap on occasion.
- Red Fox has a slim body, tall legs, sharp ears, and a hairy tail. Red foxes are also extremely flexible, living in suburbs and urban areas. Red foxes eat both plants and animals and have an omnivorous diet.
There are more than 440 species of birds known to exist in Maryland. Seventy-two out of these bird species are rare and can only be found in Maryland. These species include the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Bachman’s Sparrow, Swainson’s Thrush, Greater Prairie Chicken, and Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
- Northern Cardinal stays in Maryland and the eastern region of America. Foraging for fruit, seeds, and insects, they can be found in dense vegetation. They are small and attractive birds, with the male being bright red and the female being light orange.
- American Robbin have blackheads and backs, with red and orange bodies. They can be commonly found in the state during their breeding season. They eat insects, worms, snails, nuts, and fruit.
- American Crow is a widespread bird that can be found in numerous environments, including woods, beaches, and urban areas. They are widely present in Maryland and can be found all year. They eat almost everything and prefer to feed on the ground.
- Red-Winged Black Bird can be found easily in the state during the summer season. Since they are all black with the exception of the reddish-orange wing patches, they are found in abundance throughout the state and are simple to identify. They roost in millions in the winter.
- Dark-Eyed Junco are generally black, gray, white, or brown. They are winter birds that primarily reside in the state from October to April, with a few remaining all year.
- Gray Catbird is named after their distinctive catty song, which lasts up to ten minutes. Gray Catbirds breeds in Maryland are most commonly seen between May and October.
8. Black Bears
The stocky black bear has short, sturdy legs and brown or black hair all over the body. Unlike other giant bears, they are small in size, measuring less than 6 feet.
When learning about the Animals in Maryland, it is significant to mention that the state is the main habitat for black bears.
Since male and female black bears spend most of the year in separate habitats, they are typically solitary creatures. Although they are typically nocturnal, bears may graze for up to 20 hours each day in the fall.
Maryland’s western counties are home to porcupines. Due to the porcupine’s solitary nature and primarily nocturnal habits, humans are often surprised by the creature’s presence. They create an incredible defense network that can get implanted in the face of an attacker.
The preferred habitat of the porcupine is mixed conifer-deciduous woodlands, where they will consume a variety of seasonal plant debris.
They are amazingly expert tree climbers who use their large, curved claws on their feet to rise into the canopy in search of buds or leaves.
To avoid harming one other while mating, the pair will flatten their quills against one another for protection. Even though they can start eating solid food right away, the young are born with a full set of teeth and open eyes.
In Maryland, you can find seven species of hawks. The red-tailed hawk is the most commonly seen in the state which is not surprising given its considerable abundance and range. These raptors come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and habitats.
They devour a wide variety of food, including insects, reptiles, and mammals.
- Sharp-Shined Hawk is the smallest hawk species in the state. These hawks have different and darker shades on their bellies and backs. They are slightly larger than a Jay but smaller than a crow.
- Red-Shouldered Hawk have medium-sized bodies, warm-colored breasts, and warm-colored underbellies. They frequently occur close to moist woodlands near streams or ponds. The majority of these hawks’ feathers are in shades of brown.
- Northern Goshawk has a dark back, wings, and a light belly. These hawks are bigger than a crow and come with broad wings. The primary prey of northern harriers are small mammals and birds.
- Broad-winged Hawk stays in any woodland, although they prefer to do so near bodies of water. Before making their migratory journey to South America, they breed in Maryland. They have barred breasts, short, square tails, and reddish-brown heads.
- Red-Tailed Hawk are the easiest to detect since they circle slowly over broad fields in search of prey. The rusty brown tails of these birds give them a scarlet appearance in contrast to their otherwise white bodies.
- Rough-legged Hawk earn their names because of the messy feathers that cover their legs. They are frequently seen hovering over broad fields and wetlands. Although these hawks are active all day, they spend most of their time hunting between dawn and night.
- Cooper’s Hawk is big, roughly the size of a crow, and shares a striking resemblance to the Sharp-shinned Hawk in appearance. Their skull is larger and extends far beyond the wings. These birds hunt from the air and primarily eat small mammals.
There are 25 species of the common ground squirrel known as the Chipmunk in North America. Chipmunks prefer to reside in rocky places or where large logs are laying on the ground because they spend most of their time on the ground.
The state has a large population of chipmunks, who are active in the time of dawn and evening. Except when courting or caring for young, they usually live alone. They cultivate bulbs and consume insects and nuts.
- Eastern Chipmunk: has a white bottom and a white band above and below its eyes. Eastern chipmunks in Maryland prefer to stay west of the Chesapeake. Also, they tend to build a network of underground caves where they live.
- Least Chipmunk: as the name suggests, is quite tiny in size. The color ranges from a light grayish brown with black stripes to a grayish brown with faint yellowish gray stripes. On all least chipmunks, the stripes, however, extend to the base of the tail.
The Final Word
When talking about wildlife, there is a big number of amazing Animals in Maryland that can grab one’s attention. Be it mammals, birds, or predators, the land of Maryland is rich with various types of animal species.
We have discussed a few of the animal species found in Maryland; hopefully, you will find it as interesting as the species that make up Maryland’s wildlife.
If you enjoyed reading this blog about Animals In Maryland, you may enjoy reading more about the wildlife in other states: