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Animals in Nova Scotia

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Are you interested in learning about the animals in Nova Scotia? Nova Scotia is Canada’s well known maritime province. It has continental climate. Forests here consist of about four-fifth of the total land area. Animal life here includes beautiful birds like Atlantic puffin, ducks, wood turtle, eastern moose etc. Nova Scotia consists of numerous lakes and short rivers.

Have a look at the animals in Nova Scotia:

American Marten

Ribbon Snake

Harlequin Duck

Wood Turtle

Atlantic Whitefish

Common Nighthawk

Roseate Tern

Eastern Chipmunk

Eastern Moose

Atlantic Puffin

American Marten

marten, animals in nova scotia

American Marten belongs to family Mustelidae and is also known as American pine marten , belongs to North American mammal species. The name pine marten come from the common name of Eurasian species. It is found widely in Canada. It is a very small animal which likes to live on tree. American marten has slim body with short legs. It’s claws are curvy which helps them to climb tress properly. American marten has pointed nose, wide head, round years. It has a breast plate of cream and orange color present on its chest and throat.

They are mostly found in northern forest. American martens love to live alone. American marten avoid interacting with other marten but as mating season come, they come out of there dens and look out for mates. They are tree dwelling animals and move on trees. The have specialized odoured glands which they use for. They hunt in the early morning or dusk as it is the time in prey are mostly active. They are more active during winter season.

American Marten is both nocturnal and diurnal. It can swim under water and thus is a great swimmer. They have such a fast speed that they can travel many trees without failing on ground. They are omnivores as they eat both plant and animals. 

Where American Martens can be found in Nova Scotia?

It is basically found in Atlantic provinces. It can easily found in Terra Nova National Park , Fundy National Park, Kejimkujik National Park.

Ribbon Snake

ribbon snake, animals in Nova scotia

It is a non-venomous snake species snake which belongs to Eastern North America. The ribbon snake grows up to 16 to 35 inches.

It consists of yellow lines  with dark brown color body. Female ribbon snake is found to be more thicker than male ribbon snake. They can be easily found in wet climatic conditions such as lakes, wet woodlands, creek-beds and marsh areas. They are found in aquatic and areas with high vegetation. They like to live in water areas as they hunt for ectothermic animals making it easy for them to catch their prey. Ribbon snakes uses auditory and visual sense for hunting.

As garter snake eats warm-blooded prey,  ribbon snake do not eat them. Ribbon snake doesn’t use any aggressive defense system. They use their brown body and hide behind grass and go deep on ground. After hibernation period when spring season starts ribbon snake look out for other ribbon snake to mate. 

Where can ribbon snake found in nova scotia?

Ribbon snakes are closely linked with wetlands and can we easily found in area which has good water flow and vegetation. The following are the places where one can spot ribbon snake in Nova Scotia:

Molega Lake Deans Lake

Barren Meadow

Grafton Lake

Cobrielle Brook

Harlequin Duck

duck, animals in nova scotia

It is one of the most beautiful and less found duck. It is found near sea shore. Among the churning water this smallest duck feed on small shellfish animals mostly. Harlequin ducks are also known as rock duck, ladies, lords and Christmas duck. Female harlequin ducks are brown in color with having a exception of having bright white ear patch. Three years are required by male harlequin duck to develop full colors while the young harlequin duck develop color bit earlier in first autumn.

The adult harlequin body is having white markings present on it with blue color. This duck is located in lower arctic in four different breeding populations: Greenlandic, Pacific, Icelandic and eastern North American. Pacific has healthy population but the other three regions have special protection and management from hunting due to the decreasing number of ducks. In Canada a special act named Migratory Bird Convention Act (MBCA) is made so to protect hunting of this birds. These birds often return to places where they started wintering same year. 

Where can one find Harlequin duck in Nova Scotia?

These ducks are observed from November to April along the coast side. They are generally seen in Eastern shore islands and also in Kejimkujik National Park alongside other animals in Nova Scotia.

Wood Turtle

wood turtle, animals in nova scotia

There are four type of species of turtles found in Nova Scotia among which wood turtle is one. Wood turtle has such orange markings that appear when the shell is watery. It has a bumpy shell that is dark greyish to brown in color. Wood turtles are found in normal flowing rivers and food plains.

They are also found in areas which has less vegetation, wetlands, forests, hayfields and croplands. Female wood turtles give their eggs in sandy areas along rivers and also roadsides, borrow pits etc.in June. This is also the dangerous time for these wood turtles as they are at a risk of being injured by tractors, cars or other vehicles. These animals in Nova Scotia are located throughout the state. They can be seen swimming in a waterway.

They are terrestrial as compared to other turtles but did not go away from water much. Wood turtle mostly feeds on insects, green plants, mushrooms, grasses, berries etc. They are found to be fighting with each other over dead rats and frogs. Wood turtles used their hind legs for tapping on the ground this movement produces sound like rain due which earthworms come to the upper surface of water and so they get easily feeded by wood turtles. 

Where can one find Wood turtle in Nova Scotia?

Wood turtles can found easily in Nova Scotia but they are widely found in Guysborough and Annapolis counties.

Atlantic Whitefish

Animals in Nova Scotia

Atlantic whitefish is slivery from side having blueish green back. It is considered as the most ancient species of whitefishes in North America. They have a very different life cycle. It is a endangered species. Atlantic whitefish has very small scales which also makes it different from lake whitefish. It has become endangered species. Dams have blocked its way of entering sea. 

Where can one find Atlantic Whitefish in Nova Scotia?

One can find Atlantic whitefish in Tusket River and Petite river watersheds together with other animals in Nova Scotia.

Common Nighthawk

hawk, animals in nova scotia

These are medium sized birds which have huge mouth and small beak. They have big mouth which further helps them to eat insects easily. Nighthawks have white bands on their wings that can seen when they are flying. They are different type of birds which keeps low profile while sitting on ground. Common nighthawks are found to be active during start of morning and dusk. They are also found in fields and roads. Common nighthawk belongs to night jar family and are commonly known as goat suckers as they were once found to be drinking goat milk.

They are found all over in Nova Scotia but they are slowly decreasing in number. They are seen in areas which has so many insects. Common nighthawk are mostly found between mid April and September. The live on ground with areas having very less vegetation such as beaches, rocky outcrops, peat bogs, hayfields, cropland, sand dunes etc. Common nighthawk are found to lay two eggs directly on sand or bare soil. Male common nighthawk makes blooming noises through there wings. Male common nighthawk feeds female common nighthawk and she further incubates egg.

Where can one find common nighthawk in nova scotia?

One can find common nighthawk all over in Nova Scotia. It is a aerial insectivore and can be easily found in southern and boreal Canada.

Roseate Tern

tern, animals in Nova Scotia

It has forked feathers which look like streamer when they fly. It goes very actively in water to catch its prey. It can also fly small distances in water. It is counted as endangered species of Canada. It has slender body, long pointed wings and small legs. It is not easy to be identified when seen. The adult roseate tern grows 33 to 34 centimeters.

The adult roseate tern is smaller than Mourning dove and has a weight of 100-120 grams. The wing of this bird is greyish in color and has a black colored forehead and nape. Male roseate tern and female roseate tern look same. Its presence at a particular place is confirmed by its unique sound kirrick. They feed on small fish in salt water. They go upto 20km from there colonies in search of food that is fish. These birds carry more than one fish to their nests. They also take off fish from other terns. These birds lay eggs in end of May. When the clutch is complete they start incubating eggs.

Both male and female parent do incubation turn by turn for 24 days. Both parents provide protetcion and food to the chicks that hatch. After this chicks leaves this area and find new place to hide. The parents face problem which raising two chicks as the first get proper food but the other one starves as they go out looking for food at long distances. 

Where can one find Roseate Tern in Nova Scotia?

These breeding colonies are located in Yarmouth County on Brothers Islands. These islands are also known as twin islands.

Eastern Chipmunk

eastern chipmunk, animals in Nova Scotia

It appears to have whitish fur on its stomach and reddish-brown fur on its back and side part. It also has two white stripes located on side parts and one in the center of back. It has pouch shaped cheeks which helps it carry and store some food. It is found in southeastern Canada .

It lives in deciduous forests and woodlands but it can be also found residing in rock areas like walls which are close to houses or other buildings. Eastern chipmunk eat seeds, mushrooms, fruits, corn, berries and nuts but it is also found to be eating bird eggs, mice, small mammals, snails and insects. It sleeps a lot of time. It does not hibernate perfectly as it wakes up after few weeks for eating the food which they have stored at hidden places. They mate during the start of spring.

The young chipmunks come above ground when they are six weeks older. They spend there most of time collecting for food for winter season. They travel long distances in search of food . They produce chip-chip sound due to which they got their name chipmunk. They have capability of climbing trees as well but build underground nests with many entrances. They do carry soil in its cheek pouches so to hide the burrow made. They make their nests to disappear by covering it with sticks, leaves and other similar material. Eastern chipmunks are very active during the day time. It provides proepr protetction to its burow made and likes to live alone but not in mating season.

Living solitary or alone is the major behavioral characteristic of the eastern chipmunk. Its has two breeding season one starts from February to April and the other from June to August. They go in deep sleep during winter season. Its predators include snakes, bobcats , domestic dog and cats, hawks, owl etc. 

Where can one find Eastern Chipmunk in Nova Scotia ?

Eastern Chipmunk can be found in:

Tobeatic Game Sanctuary

Barachois Pond Provincial Park

Eastern Moose

eastern moose, animals in Nova scotia

These animals in Nova Scotia are a subspecies of moose that is found in Eastern Canada. It makes habitat in deciduous forests and boreal forests. Male eastern moose get angry during mating season and attack anything that will excite them. The moose is said to be the world’s largest deer. It appears to be having long face, dewlap under throat, small tail and long legs.

It has dark brown to black appearance. It is most active at night but can be seen during day time too. It eats herbaceous plants in summer season and bark, buds in winter season. The male moose has large antlers and they drop them in mating season. The antlers get regrown in about three to five months in the spring and summer season. The female moose gives birth to young moose in May to June. Moose has lifespan of 15 years in the wild.

They are basically herbivores which love to live in boreal forests. Eastern moose are found in places where food is present more. Their diet includes stems, young trees and shrubs, twigs and stem etc. In summer season they like to go on wetlands or we can say aquatic vegetation is very important for them in summer time. 

Where can one find Eastern Moose in Nova Scotia?

Pictou-Antigonish highlands

Tobeatic Region

Cobequid Mountains

Chebucto Peninsula

Tangier Grand

Atlantic Puffin

puffin, animals in Nova Scotia

These animals in Nova Scotia are seabirds which belongs to auk family. It is the only puffin that belongs to Atlantic ocean. Atlantic Puffin is found breeding in Iceland, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Greenland, Norway etc. It has a very huge population and variety of species but still its number is found to be decreasing day by day. In land it has a straight posture but while in water it do swim on the above water surface and dives under water to catch fish.

It feeds mainly on fish. Atlantic puffin has grey cheek spots, blackish crown and under area is white. Atlantic puffin spends autumn and winter in open areas of cold seas and return back to coasts when their breeding season starts. Their breeding season start in late spring. It makes its habitat in clifftop colonies in which they dig a burrow where the lay just one single white egg.

Chicks grow very fast and feed on whole fish only. They grow by 6 weeks and are ready to enter sea during the night time. They swim far away from the land shore and do not comeback to land for many years. They make colonies on islands with having less contact or protection from terrestrial predators. 

Where can one find Atlantic Puffin in Nova Scotia?

Puffin is most beautiful and cutest bird in the world. In Nova Scotia there are three islands where one spot Atlantic puffin in summer season. The Bird Island is one of the most popular places to see Atlantic puffin as it is an official bird sanctuary and is located in Cape Breton.

From this island, nearby there are two islands known as the Ciboux Island and Hertford Island. These islands have very less vegetation and one can find puffin and other seabirds here easily. There is one more beautiful island known as Pearl Island and is situated in south of Nova Scotia.

Summary of Animals in Nova Scotia

Animals in Nova Scotia include beautiful birds like Atlantic puffin, ducks, wood turtle, eastern moose etc. Nova Scotia has numerous lakes and short rivers due to which there are lot of animals found in this region like – American Marten, Fisher, Ribbon snake, Mustelids, Wood turtle, Atlantic whitefish, Common nighthawk, Harlequin duck and many more.

There are around 25 places in Nova Scotia where wild like can be enjoyed like Amherst Bird Sanctuary, Brier Island, Long Lake Provincial Park, McNabs Island, Okaslawn Farm Zoo, Point Pleasant Park, Shubencadie Wildlife Park. If you enjoyed reading about Animals in Nova Scotia, take a look at our North American Feature blogs.

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