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Meet The 20 Most Popular Animals Of Tennessee

Box turtle on the move. Image via Depositphotos

Ever wondered what the most popular animals are in all of Tennessee? 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, the white-tailed deer is one of the most iconic animals in Tennessee, often spotted in forests, fields, and even suburban areas. Furthermore, with its distinctive white tail and bounding gait, this graceful mammal is beloved by wildlife enthusiasts and hunters alike.

#2 Eastern Gray Squirrel

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

Secondly, found throughout Tennessee’s woodlands and urban parks, the eastern gray squirrel is known for its bushy tail and acrobatic antics. These adaptable creatures are skilled climbers and foragers, often seen darting between trees in search of nuts and seeds.

#3 American Black Bear

Baby Black Bear.
Baby Black Bear. Image by jill@ghostbear.org via Depositphotos

Tennessee is home to a healthy population of American black bears, particularly in the mountainous regions of the state. These majestic omnivores can be elusive but are occasionally spotted by lucky hikers and campers, foraging for berries, insects, and small mammals.

#4 Raccoon

Raccoon sniffing around. Image by Henry Dinardo on Unsplash.

Fourthly, recognizable by its distinctive mask and ringed tail, the raccoon is a common sight in Tennessee’s forests, wetlands, and urban areas. Furthermore, these nocturnal scavengers are opportunistic feeders, known for raiding trash cans and scavenging for food.

#5 Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey
A pair of wild turkeys on the edge of a forest. Image via Depositphotos

Evidently, Tennessee boasts a thriving population of wild turkeys, prized by hunters and birdwatchers alike. Additionally, with their striking plumage and distinctive gobbling calls, these birds are a symbol of the state’s abundant wildlife and natural beauty.

#6 Eastern Box Turtle

Box turtle on the move. Image via Depositphotos

The eastern box turtle is a terrestrial reptile found in Tennessee’s woodlands, fields, and gardens. Especially, recognizable by its domed shell and vibrant markings, this slow-moving creature plays an important role in its ecosystem as a seed disperser and insect predator.

#7 Red Fox

red fox
Red foxes’ forepaws have five toes, while their hind feet only have four! Image by Erik Mclean via Unsplash

The red fox is a cunning predator found throughout Tennessee, inhabiting forests, grasslands, and suburban areas. Furthermore, with its reddish fur and bushy tail, this adaptable carnivore is skilled at hunting small mammals, birds, and insects.

#8 Northern Cardinal

red bird
Male northern cardinal perched on a branch following a winter storm. Image via Depositphotos

The northern cardinal is a vibrant songbird that brightens Tennessee’s forests and gardens with its brilliant red plumage and melodious chirps. Additionally, these charismatic birds are a favorite among birdwatchers and are often spotted at backyard feeders.

#9 Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

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

The eastern cottontail rabbit is a common sight in Tennessee’s meadows, fields, and suburban neighborhoods. With its fluffy white tail and agile movements, this herbivorous mammal is a popular target for predators and hunters alike.

#10 Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle
Close up shot of United States iconic bird facing camera with wings spread in flight. Image via Depositphotos

Evidently, in the middle of our list of most popular animals in Tennessee is the bald eagle. It is a majestic symbol of America’s natural heritage and can be found in Tennessee’s lakes, rivers, and wetlands. With its impressive wingspan and piercing gaze, this apex predator is a rare but thrilling sight for wildlife enthusiasts.

#11 Copperhead Snake

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

The copperhead snake is a venomous reptile found in Tennessee’s forests, rocky hillsides, and wetlands. With its distinctive copper-colored head and keeled scales, this ambush predator blends seamlessly into its surroundings, making it a potential hazard for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

#12 Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish:
A juvenile invasive freshwater predator channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. Image via Depositphotos

Channel catfish are prized game fish found in Tennessee’s lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. With their distinctive barbels and voracious appetites, these bottom-dwelling creatures provide exciting angling opportunities for fishermen of all ages.

#13 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

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

The eastern tiger swallowtail is a striking butterfly species found throughout Tennessee’s woodlands and gardens. In other words, with its bold yellow and black markings, this graceful insect adds a splash of color to the state’s diverse ecosystem.

#14 Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Chickadee. Image by Joshua J. Cotten via Unsplash

The Carolina chickadee is a small songbird known for its cheerful chirps and acrobatic antics. Additionally, found in Tennessee’s forests and suburban areas, this charming bird is a favorite among birdwatchers and backyard enthusiasts.

#15 Striped Skunk

Striped Skunk. Image by Bryan Padron via Unsplash

The striped skunk is a nocturnal mammal found in Tennessee’s woodlands, fields, and urban areas. With its distinctive black and white markings and pungent defensive spray, this adaptable omnivore is both feared and respected by humans and predators alike.

#16 North American River Otter

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

Evidently, the North American river otter is a playful and charismatic mammal found in Tennessee’s rivers, streams, and wetlands. Furthermore, with its sleek fur and webbed feet, this semi-aquatic creature is a skilled swimmer and adept hunter of fish and crustaceans.

#17 Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird
Male Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) on a hibiscus bush. Image by steve_byland via depositphotos.com

Explicitly, the eastern bluebird is a symbol of happiness and hope, often spotted in Tennessee’s open woodlands and grasslands. Undoubtedly, with its vibrant blue plumage and melodious song, this beloved songbird is a favorite among birdwatchers and garden enthusiasts.

#18 Wood Duck

wood duck
A beautiful wild wood duck hanging out at the Memphis Zoo. Image by Joshua J. Cotten via Unsplash

Certainly, the wood duck is a colorful and strikingly patterned waterfowl species found in Tennessee’s wetlands, lakes, and rivers. Correspondingly, with its iridescent plumage and distinctive call, this beautiful bird is a prized sight for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers.

#19 Eastern Box Turtle

Box turtle on the move. Image via Depositphotos

Evidently, the eastern box turtle is a terrestrial reptile found in Tennessee’s woodlands, fields, and gardens. Additionally, recognizable by its domed shell and vibrant markings, this slow-moving creature plays an important role in its ecosystem as a seed disperser and insect predator.

#20 Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake
Eastern Garter Snake. Image via Depositphotos

Finally, the eastern garter snake is a non-venomous reptile found in Tennessee’s forests, fields, and wetlands. Furthermore, with its distinctive stripes and gentle disposition, this harmless snake is often encountered by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

North American River Otter
North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or the common otter. Image via Depositphotos

In conclusion, these are the most popular animals in Tennessee. Furthermore, I have never seen an Box Turtle before, it would be an incredible sighting! I think I may need to visit Tennessee soon to see one for myself! If you think there should’ve 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!

Thank you for following along with this article – 

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