Wildlife In Alabama (A List Of The Most Prolific Animals In Alabama)

Boasting around 23 million acres of forest (roughly 69% of the state), Alabama has become a long-time home to many beloved animal residents. Currently, there are around 4,500 documented animal species in Alabama, but have you ever wondered which ones are the most common?

Alabama is best known for its forest wildlife, and there are 62 native mammals in the state, which include white-tailed deer, and coyotes. Fish are no strangers either since there are over 450 species, like the black bass and sunfish. The state also houses a variety of other wildlife, such as bullfrogs, crows, bald eagles, and musk turtles.

Are you itching to learn more? Come join us at Floofmania as we take a closer look into Alabama and what this state has to offer when it comes to animals!

Animals That Are Typical For Alabama

Thanks to the number of forests and bodies of water in Alabama, the state has many animals that thrive within the state territory. However, some animals are much more typically seen and known to be in Alabama, such as:

  • White-tailed deer
  • Black crows
  • American badgers
  • American robins
  • Bullfrogs
  • Snapping turtles
  • Sunfish

This is merely a quick look at what animals you may see in Alabama, so let’s keep digging further into the animals the state has to offer!

The Official Animal of Alabama

The official state mammal of Alabama is the black bear, and the black bear was given this title in 2006.

While black bears are native to Alabama, they have not always been thriving. You used to see one in every part of the state in 1819, but now the state has one of the lowest black bear populations in the US due to habitat manipulation and deforestation. It is estimated that there are only 100-200 black bears left in Alabama.

Many conservation efforts have been put in place to keep this species’ population numbers up. As a result, students from Escambia County campaigned to make black bears the state animal in 2006, which was quickly signed into law the same year.

The Most Common Mammals In Alabama

Since nearly 70% of the state is composed of forests, many mammals have made Alabama their safe haven. Some mammals you may easily spot in Alabama are:

1. White-Tailed Deer

A white-tailed deer laying in the grass on the forest's edge.

Being the only deer species in Alabama, the white-tailed deer also happens to be an extremely prolific animal in the state. It is estimated that there were around 1.75 million of them in 2020!

The main reason why these deer are so numerous in the state is a lack of predators. While Alabama is still home to predators like cougars, these animals have been declining in numbers over the years. Most of these predators have been diminishing in population because of habitat manipulation, hunting, etc.

As such, the deer population has had the freedom to multiply without any threats. For instance, Colorado is facing an overpopulation of deer

Having too many deer in one area can decrease plant diversity and other wildlife species. For example, deer can excessively browse plants until there are none left, which leaves little to no food for the other animals in the area.

You can find these deer in almost every county of the state. You can even spot them in or near the main metropolitan areas of Alabama.

2. Coyotes

The face of a coyote looking slightly upward in front of it.

Coyotes are another common mammal in Alabama. You can usually find them in Alabama’s woodlands, but they are adaptable hunters and have been seen in suburban areas, too, which is where they sometimes look for food and other possible prey (like people’s pets!). 

Coyotes have become a nuisance for farmers as well since they can live off agricultural lands. Coyotes, being omnivores, can eat both the farmer’s livestock and crops.

Coyotes are opportunistic hunters that will eat whatever they deem easy prey. You can learn more about coyotes and their prey by reading our other article, “What Animals Do Coyotes Hunt?”.

3. Black Rat

A black rat eating bread on a wooden surface.

Black rats are another common mammal found in Alabama. They are also called roof rats because they like to live in the building materials of homes and buildings in urban areas, such as roofs and cavity walls.

Despite being called black rats, most black rats have grey-brown fur with a grey belly. However, some black rats have nearly completely black fur.

4. American Badgers

Two American badgers next to their sett on the edge of a grain field. One badger is emerging from the hole and the other is standing, facing the camera.

Another carnivorous mammal that is common in Alabama is the American badger. These badgers are usually found in farms, marshes, prairies, and grasslands in Alabama.

Badgers are prolific in Alabama because they are aggressive animals with few predators. When they do run into a potential foe, they can potentially win the fight or have the foe run away due to the badger’s combative nature. 

5. Bobcats 

The face of a bobcat on a green, blurred background.

Alabama has a strong bobcat population in the state, and these bobcats can be found in heavily wooded upland areas, rocky outcroppings, and canyons. However, they also roam other areas, such as partially exposed farmland, hardwood forests, and swamps.

Despite them being common, it may not be easy to spot a bobcat. Bobcats are shy creatures that often roam at night, so running into a bobcat is not likely. 

However, their normally shy demeanor does not stop them from being fierce predators. They can run fast and jump up to 12 feet far to take down larger animals like deer.

The Most Common Birds In Alabama

With over 16.98 billion trees, Alabama is an excellent place for birds to live, especially since 420 bird species have been documented in the state. Here are some common birds you may see:

1. Blackbirds 

Blackbird sitting on a frosty branch with red berries.

One of the most abundant birds in Alabama is the blackbird. There are many species of blackbird in the state, which include:

  • Red-winged blackbird
  • European starling
  • Common grackle
  • Brown-headed cowbird
  • Baltimore oriole
  • Brewer’s blackbird

Their exact location in the state will depend on what kind of blackbird they are, but most blackbirds can be seen in pastures, farm fields, and grasslands where they look for food.

2. American Crows

American crow sitting on a rock with bushes in the background.

Another example of a common bird in Alabama is the American crow. These crows can be found in almost any habitat due to their adaptability, but you are likely to see them in suburbs, farmlands, open areas, wood lots, and forests.

A unique fact about these birds is that crows are considered to be one of the smartest animals in the world. Some scientists speculate that crows are almost as smart as apes like the chimpanzee. They have been observed to recognize human faces, use tools, and even understand some physics!

3. American Robins

American robin sitting on a branch in the sun with blurred-out trees in the background.

You can spot an American robin in every county in Alabama, but they are most commonly seen as nesting birds in North Alabama.

They are large thrush birds that can reach 8-11 inches in length and weigh around 2.7 ounces. They feature grey backs and wings, a dark grey head, a reddish-orange face and chest, and a white belly.

4. Barred Owls

Barred owl sitting on a dead tree, facing the camera.

The barred owl is one of the more common and larger owls in Alabama, reaching 20-24 inches long with a wingspan of 40-50 inches.

One of the most unique things about the barred owl is its many calls, one of which even sounds like a puppy barking! 

Here is a video to help you learn what barred owls sound like:

5. Bald Eagles

Bald eagle close-up on a black background.

One of the most iconic birds a common resident of Alabama, is the bald eagle. The bald eagle can be found throughout the state, but they prefer to be near big bodies of water and rivers.

These birds are one of the biggest raptors in nature. They boast a wingspan that can reach 8 feet wide and reach speeds of 100 miles per hour when diving.

The Most Common Amphibians In Alabama

Alabama has marshes, swamps, lakes, and more that can house amphibians, and a few examples of them include:

1. American Toads

American toad sitting in tall grass.

American toads are one of the most common toads in Alabama, often being seen above Fall Line Hills in northeastern Alabama. You may also see them in woodland pools from January to May for the breeding season.

2. Bullfrogs

Bullfrog sitting among dead leaves and grass in mixed undergrowth.

Bullfrogs are prolific throughout the state, and they are also the largest frog in Alabama. Only the male bullfrogs can croak, which often sounds like a bull! Hear it for yourself!

3. Spotted Salamanders

Spotted salamander sitting on gray surface.

The spotted salamander is a salamander found throughout Alabama, except in some of the southern areas like southern Pine Plains and Hills.

These salamanders have thick builds with stocky legs. They are cleverly named due to the many spots that are all over their bodies, mainly at the head and going down the back.

The Most Common Reptiles In Alabama

There are 93 native species of reptiles in Alabama, and some common ones are:

1. Hognose Snake

Close-up of hognose snake lying on small pebbles.

There are different types of hognose snakes in Alabama, but the most common kind is the eastern hognose snake. They are often confused with the southern hognose snake, which is a much rarer species. 

2. Five-Lined Skinks

A five-lined skink sitting on a woman's finger, her brown eye watching ti attentively.

The common five-lined skink can be found in various parts of Alabama, like pine woods, hardwood forests, damp woodlands, gardens, and more. They can be recognized by the blackish-brown lines that have yellowy-orange stripes down their backs and sides.

3. Common Snapping Turtles

Common snapping turtle with its mouth open, sitting on loose soil.

These turtles are widespread throughout the state, but they are often seen in slow streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and marshes. These are their preferred habitats because they can hide in the aquatic vegetation and feast on birds, frogs, and fish.

4. King Snakes 

A bright orange king snake on a branch with a blurred, brown background.

King snakes are fairly abundant in Alabama, and there are multiple kinds:

  • Speckled king snakes
  • Black king snakes
  • Scarlet king snakes
  • Prairie king snakes

King snakes are best known for eating other venomous snakes because they are immune to most other snakes’ venom.

5. Musk Turtles

6 musk turtles  grouping together on a river's bank with greenery around.

Musk turtles are often seen in the Black Warrior River system of Alabama. These turtles prefer medium to large streams for habitats.

The Most Common Fish In Alabama

1/6th of the state of Alabama is covered by rivers, lakes, ponds, and more that are full of fish. Some common ones you may see are the following:

1. Sunfish 

Sunfish being held in the hand of an angler in front of a lake.

You can find sunfish in major lakes like Aliceville Lake and Bankhead Lake. There are also multiple species of sunfish in the state, including:

  • Green sunfish
  • Longear sunfish
  • Redbreast sunfish
  • Redear sunfish

2. Seatrout 

Sea troup on top of pebbles with small plants around and with an overlay of the water's surface on the image.

The most abundant fish in Alabama is the seatrout, and it usually lives in Alabama’s gulf coast. There are multiple types of seatrout, which include the sand seatrout and the spotted seatrout.

3. Black Bass

The black bass, also called largemouth bass, is a common fish in Alabama, and it also happens to be the official state freshwater fish! They are usually found in reservoirs, ponds, and lakes.

How To Act Around Wild Animals In Alabama

If you find yourself near wild animals in Alabama, you should always keep your distance from them. Even docile-looking animals like white-tail deer could harm you if you are not careful, so be sure to stay far away and observe the animal from a distance.

However, you may find yourself being right next to the animal by accident. In that case, you can try to slowly and calmly walk backward from the animal until you are far enough, which is usually 20-30 feet away.

Of course, this will not apply to all animals. If you happen to be next to a more dangerous predator like the black bear, you need to make yourself appear larger than them while still walking away slowly. You should also never run from predators because it triggers their instincts to hunt you down

Endangered Species In Alabama

Due to excessive hunting, urbanization, etc., some animals in Alabama have become endangered. Some examples of endangered animals in the state include:

  • Red Hills salamander
  • Alligator snapping turtle
  • Armored snail
  • Cougar
  • Gray bat
  • Alabama sturgeon
  • West Indian Manatee
  • Perdido Key beach mouse
  • Alabama red-bellied turtle

Uniquely, one small mouse called the Alabama beach mouse is an endangered species that can only be found along the coastal sand dune areas in Florida and Alabama.

Extinct Animals That Used To Live In Alabama

Sadly, some animals have become extinct in Alabama. Some modern-day animals that have gone extinct are:

  • Upland comb shell
  • Yellow-blossom pearly mussel
  • Turgid-blossom pearly mussel
  • Stirrup shell
  • Tubercled-blossom pearly mussel
  • Southern acorn shell

As you can see, the freshwater clams of Alabama are the more recently extinct animals of the state. 

Places In Alabama To Spot Wild Animals

Do you want to see animals in their natural habitat? Here are a few places you can go to find wild animals in Alabama.

1. Alabama Coastal Birding Trail

Bird lovers need to check out the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail that lets you explore Orange Beach and Gulf Beach. You can watch out for a variety of bird species, such as King Rail, Osprey, brown pelican, and marsh wren.

2. Madison County Nature Trail

For those who want to enjoy a great view while looking for animals, visit Madison County Nature Trail. This place has long walking trails that have you walk around a gorgeous lake. Some animals you may find are spiders, fish, turtles, birds, and more.

3. Audubon Bird Sanctuary

Audubon Bird Sanctuary is a 137-acre sanctuary that features a beach, dunes, marshes, swamps, a lake, and maritime forests. It is located on Dauphin Island, which is regarded as “America’s Birdiest City.” You will normally see many types of birds, like herons and egrets.

Zoos In Alabama

Not in the mood to search for animals in the wild? You can still observe wildlife without searching for them by visiting these zoos:

1. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is a zoo that hosts more than 600 animals, including endangered animals. Some animals you can expect to see are various primates, tigers, kangaroos, parrots, and more.

2. Birmingham Zoo

The Birmingham Zoo is a type of zoological park that first opened its doors in 1955. Birmingham Zoo has slightly more animals than the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, being home to around 750 animals, such as flamingos, bears, sea lions, and more.

3. Montgomery Zoo & Mann Wildlife Learning Museum

The Montgomery Zoo & Mann Wildlife Learning Museum proudly has about 140 species of animals, having a total of 750 individual animals on the property. In this zoo, you can see a vast array of wildlife, such as African lions, elephants, and giraffes.

4. Harmony Park Safari

If you want to stay in the safety of your car while seeing wildlife, you can check out Harmony Park Safari. This park features a road that you can drive through to see animals like giraffes, goats, emu, buffalo, zebras, and more! You are also allowed to drive through the park multiple times.

Author: Allison Marie Dinglasan

Hello! I am Allison, an avid writer for 6 years with a deep interest in animals since I was a child. I grew up on Animal Planet and animal books and often did rescue work for stray and sickly cats, dogs, and birds in my area, which led to over 60 rescues. My future goal is to be a veterinarian to have a more hands-on approach to helping and learning about animals!

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