bear and log

Understanding Va's Wildlife

Virginia is home to a very diverse ecosystem of wildlife.

Oftentimes red wolves are confused for coyotes as they look highly similar. Their fur can vary in coloration but they often have a reddish coat with a black-tipped tail and lighter coloration around their muzzle/mouth. They are much smaller than their grey wolf relatives and are not as aggressive.

Adult Bald Eagles have dark brown feathers covering their body. The feathers on the head and tail are white. They have a distinctive yellow beak and feet. Immature bald eagles are mostly brown and with some mottled white, they develop their adult coloring at around the age of 5 years old.

Red foxes have a distinctive reddish-brown fur, although the exact coloration can vary. They often have a white underbelly, throat, and chin. Some individuals have dark or silver fur. One of their most notable features is their bushy, white-tipped tail. The tail is often long and serves multiple purposes, including balance, communication, and warmth.

Raccoons have black fur around their eyes, a dense gray coat, and their tails are ringed with black and gray stripes. The five toes on a raccoon’s front paws are extremely dexterous like fingers and allow them to grasp and manipulate food and other objects, including doorknobs, jars, and latches. Their long, bushy tail helps with balance and serves various functions, such as aiding in swimming and climbing.

They are a medium-sized perching duck. The males are more elaborate with multicolored iridescent plumage and red eyes, with a distinctive white flare down the neck. Females are less colorful with a white eye-ring and a whitish throat.  Both adults have crested heads.

Their feathers offer excellent camouflage so they are hard to spot. They are intricately patterned in brown, tan, rust, and black. Males have a black-and-white head pattern. Females have a tan throat and eyebrows.

Black bears, despite their name, can be blue-gray or blue-black, brown, cinnamon, blonde, or even (very rarely) white. They have dense, shaggy fur that helps protect them from cold winters. Black bears use their strong, curved claws to climb trees and dig for food. They are a smaller bear species compared to grizzly and brown bears.

Barn owls have a heart-shaped face that is light in color, their body is generally a mixture of pale, tawny, and dark brown feathers. They often have spots and speckles on their wings and back, contributing to their mottled appearance, providing excellent camouflage in their natural habitats. Their ears are asymmetrical, meaning one is above the other on either side of the head, which helps them pinpoint exactly where a noise comes from.  They're hearing is so precise they can even hunt in total darkness.

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