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Meet The 20 Most Popular Animals Of North Carolina (Animal Photography)

copperhead snake
Copperhead Snake coiled up on the ground. Image generated by Amy King using Midjourney

Ever wondered what the most popular animals are in all of North Carolina? Now is your time to have the answer revealed. I have been pretty curious myself. So let’s jump right in together!

#1 White-tailed Deer

Columbian White-Tailed Deer
White-tailed deer are a very cute looking species with their large ears. Image by Joe Cox via Unsplash

Firstly, white-tailed deer are found all around North Carolina, mostly in forests, fields, and suburban areas; they depict wildlife diversity and are often seen grazing in open meadows or darting through wooded areas.

#2 Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel
Eastern Gray Squirrel hiding away. Image by Johnson Chung via Unsplash

Secondly, the eastern gray squirrel is a familiar sight, seen bounding across lawns or scurrying up trees, these agile creatures are known for their bushy tails.

#3 Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
Eastern Cottontail Rabbit in its natural habitat. Image by David Solce via Unsplash

Thirdly, found in fields, brushy areas, and suburban neighborhoods, the eastern cottontail rabbit is a common sight in North Carolina. It is recognizable by its fluffy white tail and brown fur, they play an essential role in the state’s ecosystem as prey and most importantly as seed dispersers.

#4 American Black Bear

Baby American Black Bear. Image by MennoSchaefer via Depositphotos

Fourthly, North Carolina is home to a thriving population of American black bears, which live in the state’s mountainous regions and dense forests; these powerful beings are often attracted to human communities looking for food. Thus, making bear-proofing measures important in some areas.

#5 Eastern Box Turtle

Box turtle on the move. Image via Depositphotos

Evidently, the eastern box turtle is a terrestrial reptile found in North Carolina’s forests, grasslands, and wetlands; known for its distinctive domed shell and colorful markings.

#6 Red Fox

Sierra Nevada Red Fox Yosemite National Park
Sierra Nevada Red Fox By MennoSchaefer via Depositphotos

Red foxes live in a variety of places ranging from forests to suburban areas. Furthermore, these carnivores are skilled hunters known for their intelligence and adaptability.

#7 North American Beaver

North American Beaver
North American beaver (Castor canadensis), also known as the Canadian beaver. Image by Wrangel via Depositphotos

The North American beaver is a keystone species in North Carolina’s aquatic ecosystems. As they build dams and lodges that create habitats for many other wildlife species. These industrious rodents are vital for wetland biodiversity and water quality.

#8 Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)
Head of an eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus). Image via Depositphotos

Evidently, the largest venomous snake in North America, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake is an apex predator found in the southeastern United States, including North Carolina. Despite their fearsome reputation, these snakes play a critical role in keeping the rodent populations from exploding.

Eastern Bluebird
Male Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) in flight. Image by PantherMediaSeller via depositphotos.

The eastern bluebird stands for happiness and good fortune.  It is especially known for its vibrant feathers and beautiful songs. Due to conservation efforts in the area, their populations have been revived. Happily making them more of a common sight once again.

#10 Bald Eagle

Bald eagle
Bald eagles build some of the largest nests of any bird species, often reaching up to 10 feet in diameter and weighing hundreds of pounds. Image by Andreas Barth via Pexels

Evidently, we have arrived to the middle of our list of the most popular animals of North Carolina! The bald eagle, America’s national bird, has made a remarkable recovery in North Carolina following conservation efforts and the banning of DDT. These majestic raptors can be spotted near waterways, where they hunt for fish and waterfowl.

#11 White-tailed Hawk

white tailed hawk
White-tailed Hawk (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Bird of Prey. Image by diegograndi via Depositphotos

The white-tailed hawk is a raptor found mainly along the coastal areas of North Carolina. It has a distinctive white tail and excellent eyesight, this bird of prey is a formidable hunter, seen soaring over open grasslands in search of prey.

#12 Carolina Wren

Carolina wren
Carolina wren. Image by Patrice Bouchard via Unsplash

The Carolina wren is a small bird with a big voice. Generally, known for its loud and melodious song. These adaptable birds thrive in a variety of habitats, including forests, urban parks, and suburban gardens, where they feed on insects and seeds.

#13 Eastern Cottonmouth

cottonmouth bite
A closeup of a juvenile cottonmouth. Image via Depositphotos

The eastern cottonmouth, also known as the water moccasin, is a venomous snake. Generally they are found in the wetlands and swamps of North Carolina. Recognizable by its dark coloration and cotton-white mouth, this species plays a crucial role in controlling amphibian and fish populations.

#14 North American River Otter

North American River Otter
North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) Image via Depositphotos

North Carolina’s waterways are home to the North American river otter. It is a playful and agile mammal often associated with its aquatic antics. These semiaquatic creatures can be observed swimming, diving, and fishing in rivers, lakes, and marshes.

#15 Bobcat

Bobcat in a forest. Image Miller_Eszter via Pixabay

Evidently, the bobcat is a stealthy predator found in North Carolina’s forests, swamps, and brushy areas. It has tufted ears and a short tail, this elusive feline is a highly skilled hunter of smaller mammals and birds, thus helping to regulate prey populations in its ecosystem.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail looking for food. Image by Joshua J. Cotten via Unsplash

The eastern tiger swallowtail is one of North Carolina’s most recognizable butterflies. These graceful insects can be found fluttering among flowers in gardens, fields, and forest clearings.

#17 North American Coyote

Coyote Image by via Depositphotos

The North American coyote is a highly adaptable predator that has successfully colonized urban, suburban, and rural areas throughout North Carolina. With their keen senses and intelligence, these canids play a critical role in controlling small mammal populations.

#18 Great Blue Heron

great blue heron
A great blue heron takes flight. Image by Joshua J. Cotten via Unsplash

The great blue heron is a majestic wading bird commonly found in North Carolina’s wetlands, marshes, and along the coast. It has a tall towering stature and dagger-like bill. This iconic bird is an expert fisherman and hunter of amphibians and small mammals.

#19 Eastern Copperhead

Copperhead in it’s natural habitat. Image via Deposit Photos

The eastern copperhead is a venomous pit viper found in North Carolina’s forests, rocky hillsides, and suburban areas. Despite their venomous bite, these snakes are generally reclusive and play a vital role in controlling rodent populations.

#20 American Bullfrog

american bullfrog animals in washington
American bullfrog about to leap. Image by Maddy Weiss via Unsplash

Generally, the American bullfrog is a familiar amphibian found in North Carolina’s ponds, lakes, and wetlands. Known for its deep bellowing call and voracious appetite, this species is both a predator and prey, feeding on insects, fish, and small mammals.

Juvenile venomous copperhead snake. Image via Depositphotos

In conclusion, these are the most popular animals in North Carolina. Furthermore, I have never seen an Box Turtle before, it would be an incredible sighting! I think I may need to visit North Carolina soon to see one for myself! If you think there should have been another more popular animal in the top 20, please feel free to let us know in the comments. In other words, can’t wait to hear from you!

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