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

While Connecticut is known for its rich culture, it is also home to amazing landscapes that feature a variety of forests, mountains, and various bodies of water that is home to a vast amount of wildlife.

Most of Connecticut’s land is made up of forests, making it home to plenty of animals like moles, red foxes, house finches, and more. There are also bodies of water in the state, which gives shelter to amphibians and fish like bullfrogs and American eels.

Do you want to find out more about what animals Connecticut has to offer? Join us at Floofmania as we take a closer look at Connecticut’s wildlife!

Animals That Are Typical For Connecticut

Connecticut proudly boasts a diverse array of animals and some animals that are typical for Connecticut include:

  • Coyotes
  • Black Bears
  • Beavers
  • American Robins
  • Pickerel Frogs
  • Common Snapping Turtles

This list barely scratches the surface of what animals exist in Connecticut, so let’s keep learning!

The Official Animal of Connecticut

Connecticut’s official animal is the sperm whale, which was named the state’s official animal in 1975.

This whale was chosen as the state animal because Connecticut was one of the top states in the American whaling industry in the 1800s. However, another reason it was chosen is that the sperm whale is now an endangered species due to such practices.  

As for the state bird, Connecticut’s official bird is the American Robin. It was chosen because the robin is recognized as a beloved English bird, and many of the first settlers in the United States referred to the bird as a robin.

The Most Common Mammals In Connecticut

Connecticut is home to a vast amount of mammals thanks to its various landscapes. A few mammals you can expect to see in Connecticut are:

1. Beavers 

Beaver with wide-open eyes sitting in tall grass with a blurred-out river in the background.

Beavers are long-time natives of Connecticut since they were in the state long before the first colonists arrived.

However, there were no rules regarding how many and when you could trap beavers. So in the mid-1800s, beavers were wiped out from Connecticut.

Luckily, two beavers were brought back to Connecticut in 1914 to restore the beaver population, so the beaver population started to thrive once again.

You can find beavers all throughout Connecticut. Usually, they will be in wetland sites, such as marshes, ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers

2. Black Bears

Black bear standing in front of a tree on a grassy slope.

Another common mammal you can spot in Connecticut is the black bear. These bears are said to be spread out in the state, but most sightings have been in Litchfield and Hartford counties.

Similar to beavers, the black bear population was eradicated in Connecticut in the mid-1800s due to overhunting, trapping, lack of shelter, etc.

Luckily, many farms were abandoned in the late 1800s, which led to the regrowth of forestland in Connecticut. Once they had more land to thrive in, the black bear population bounced back.

However, this did not happen immediately. Local wildlife departments only found out that there was a population of black bears in the 1980s, and the black bear’s numbers continually rose from there.

3. Moles

Mole emerging from the black soil with its two long-nailed hands on each side of the hole.

A small mammal you can find in Connecticut is the mole. While these creatures are common, they are hard to find since moles are usually in the tunnels that they dig underground.

There are three species of moles in Connecticut, which are:

  • Common or Eastern mole
  • Brewer’s or hairy-tailed mole
  • Star-nosed mole

As you can guess from the name, the common mole is the most prolific mole in Connecticut. You can even spot these critters digging holes in people’s backyards and gardens!

A unique species is the star-nosed mole, which gets its name from its nose. At the end of the mole’s snout and around the nostrils are tentacle-like rays that resemble a star. These moles can be found in eastern Connecticut.

4. Red Foxes

Closeup of a red fox in a field of long, brown grass.

Red foxes are a very abundant species of mammal in Connecticut. They usually like to stay in the forested regions and open fields in the state.

Interestingly, the red fox population in Connecticut is mostly made up of hybrids. European red foxes (introduced to Connecticut in the mid-1800s) interbred with the local red foxes.

Unlike other members of the dog family, red foxes are solitary animals. If you spot one, it is likely that they are hunting alone. 

Notably, red foxes are vocal animals. They are known for their various whines, howls, and barks that can sound like a scream! Here’s an example:

5. Coyotes

Closeup of a coyote with its ears slightly down in front of a grain field.

First found in the 1950s, the coyote is one of the most present mammals in Connecticut.

These animals quickly expanded their range and numbers throughout Connecticut. They can be found in office parks, beach fronts, parks, and wooded suburbs.

Coyotes are highly adaptable animals that manage to survive in man-made habitats. Unfortunately, coyotes are also considered nuisances in Connecticut due to how frequently they disturb humans.

You can learn more about where coyotes live in the US by checking out our other article, “Where Do Coyotes Live?”.

The Most Common Birds In Connecticut

Connecticut boasts almost 60% of its land as forests, making the state an excellent place for birds to live. Here are some common birds you can find in Connecticut.

1. American Robins

American robin sitting on the thin branch of a plant with beautiful purple flowers.

Being one of the most common birds in North America, the American Robin is very prolific in Connecticut. In fact, the American Robin became Connecticut’s state bird in 1943.

Normally, robins tend to migrate to avoid harsh weather, but it is not true for American Robins in Connecticut. Typically, American Robins will stay in the state year-round but may head to the swamps during the cold winters to hide in high pine trees.

Typically, these birds are fairly docile around humans, as they may not mind you or flee if you get too close. However, these tiny birds can get territorial when faced with other birds that want their territory.

2. Blue Jays

Blue jay sitting on a wet branch next to a bird feeder.

Another iconic bird that you can easily find in Connecticut is the Blue Jay. Blue Jays can be found throughout the state, and you can most certainly hear them since they are noisy birds! Here is an example of what they sound like:

The Blue Jay is a medium-sized bird that has a blue head crest, a white belly, and a black necklace with black wing markings. Similar to their coloring, these birds are bold and bright, and you can spot them noisily flying in groups.

3. House Finches

A house finch sitting on a branch of a gnarly, dead tree.

Similar to the American Robin, the house finch is another commonly found bird in Connecticut. You can usually see them in suburban and urban areas where people live, eating from bird feeders and resting in trees.

Adult male house finches have rosy red feathers on their chests and faces while the females sport brown streaks along their bellies, tails, and backs.

Due to how prolific they are, some gardeners and farmers deem house finches to be pests since house finches are often nearby humans, farmlands, etc. They are seen as pests because they will eat ripening fruits, seeds, and more, damaging the overall crop yields. 

4. Northern Cardinals

A northern cardinal sitting on a tree branch.

Like the Blue Jay, the Northern Cardinal is another medium-sized songbird common in Connecticut. The Northern Cardinal stands out, however, by sporting bright red and black feathers with a red beak.

A fun fact about the Northern Cardinal is that they are monogamous birds! Typically, a cardinal will stay with a single mate for one year or longer. However, some cardinals will remain mates for life.

5. Common Starlings

A common starling sitting on a lawn.

As you can guess from the name, the common Starling is a frequently seen bird in Connecticut. Unfortunately, these starlings are invasive species and are considered pests.

Whilst being small birds, the common starling seems like a boastful creature! Starlings are known to confidently run on the ground and have fast and direct slights. They are also easy to hear since they are noisy.

The Most Common Amphibians In Connecticut

With over 3,000 reservoirs, ponds, and lakes. Connecticut is a good place for many amphibians to be. A few examples of common amphibians in Connecticut include:

1. Bullfrogs

A bullfrog being held in a person's hands with a child's hand approaching from above.

Bullfrogs are found throughout the state, but they are often seen near permanent bodies of water like streams, lakes, and ponds. You can spot them perched on the banks or relaxing in the water.

Bullfrogs get their name for a good reason – they have a loud, deep croak that resembles a bull’s voice! Have a listen for yourself to find out what bullfrogs sound like:

2. Pickerel Frogs

A pickerel frog sitting on green leaves.

Pickerel frogs are one of the most common frogs found in Connecticut, often seen in wetlands and streams

These frogs secrete a toxin from their skin that can be fatal to small animals. While they are not dangerous to humans, the toxins can still irritate your skin, which is why you should never touch a pickerel frog. 

3. Green Frogs

A green frog sitting on the concrete edge of a pond.

The green frog is another common frog in Connecticut and may be the most common frog in the Northeast United States. As you can guess from the name, these frogs are predominantly green with spotty backs. 

The Most Common Reptiles In Connecticut

Reptiles are no strangers to Connecticut since the state has 24 species of reptiles. Check out a few examples of reptiles you can find in Connecticut:

1. Common Snapping Turtles

A common snapping turtle with its mouth open being held in a hand.

As the name suggests, the common snapping turtle is a very easy-to-find reptile in Connecticut. These adaptable creatures are found throughout the state, even being seen in urban wetlands and polluted water!

The snapping turtle wittingly gets its name from its hooked beak, which they use to “snap” or bite at prey or anything it may deem a threat, such as humans or larger animals.

2. Eastern Black Snakes

An eastern black snake crawling through dead leaves next to a building's foundation.

The eastern black snake is a common snake in Connecticut, and happens to be the longest snake in the state since it can reach up to 7 feet in length!

Despite being called black snakes, they are not always pure black. Many eastern black snakes feature white underbellies.

3. Common Musk Turtles

A group of common musk turtles hanging out together near the edge of a river.

Other than the snapping turtle, you can find musk turtles easily in Connecticut, usually in low-elevation places like the Thames and Housatonic river drainages.

These turtles get their name because they have a foul-smelling musk that they can spray at any animal or human they deem threatening.

4. Eastern Worm Snakes

An eastern worm snake crawling on the ground.

You can find Eastern worm snakes throughout Connecticut, except in the extreme northwestern corner of the state. They were named worm snakes because they are small, brown snakes that resemble larger earthworms.

5. Smooth Green Snakes

A closeup of a smooth green snake extending its head through think branches.

You can often see smooth green snakes in the eastern half of Connecticut, but you will rarely see them in northwestern and southwestern Connecticut. They are delicate and small snakes that only reach up to 25 inches long!

The Most Common Fish In Connecticut

Connecticut has over 75 species of fish, 50 of which are native to the state, and here are some common ones you may see!

1. American Eels

Closeup of the head of an American eel on wet sand.

The American Eel is the only eel found in Connecticut, and they can grow up to 20 inches long. You can find these eels in the freshwater lakes of the state.

2. Atlantic Sturgeons

An atlantic sturgeon lying on wet sand.

Often seen in the Connecticut River, the Atlantic sturgeon is a fish you can easily spot in the state. It is one of the two native kinds of sturgeon in the state, and the other species is the shortnose sturgeon.

3. Common Carps

A large common carp being held in an angler's hands.

Being one of the two species of carp in Connecticut, the common carp is more prolific than the other, which is the grass carp. Unfortunately, this fish is an invasive species since it is native to Asia and Europe.

How To Act Around Wild Animals In Connecticut

Ideally, the best way to act around wild animals in Connecticut is to stay far away from them. You should never try to approach or befriend a wild animal.

If a wild animal happens to be already near you, you should try to back away slowly. Most animals will simply watch you until you are out of their sight.

However, not all animals should be dealt with in the same way. For instance, if a coyote tries to go near you, you need to wave your arms around and yell to scare the coyote away. 

If the coyote still tries to reach you, you may have to throw an item, like a rock, at it. However, it is key that you do not run away from predators like coyotes because it triggers their instincts to chase you.

Endangered Species In Connecticut

Whilst Connecticut has a lush amount of wildlife, that does not mean every species is thriving. Some species that have become endangered include:

  • Long-Eared Owl  
  • Bog Turtle      
  • Blue-Spotted Salamander
  • Bald Eagle  
  • Gray Wolf
  • New England Cottontail

Extinct Animals That Used To Live In Connecticut

No animals have recently gone extinct in Connecticut. The only extinct animals in Connecticut are dinosaurs, such as the Stegomus and Clepsysaurus.

Places In Connecticut To Spot Wild Animals

After reading all about animals in Connecticut, you may want to find out where you can see wild animals for yourself. Here are some spots in Connecticut you can go to look at wild animals.

McKinney National Wildlife Refuge

In McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, you can take a hike on the trails to spot various wildlife. Notably, there are specific places you are allowed to go off-trail to bird watch and look at the marsh.

Sanctuary Trail Wood

Trail Wood is a huge property with various trails where you can view wild animals. For instance, a large part of the northern side of the property is dominated by a beaver pond. 

Zoos In Connecticut

For people who want to see a wide array of animals in one place, you can visit these zoos in Colorado:

Beardsley Zoo

One of the most popular zoos in Connecticut is the Beardsley Zoo, which is home to over 305 animals! This zoo has goats, tigers, leopards, parrots, and much more!

Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium is an excellent place to look at marine life since it houses over 10,000 animals. Notably, it is also one of the two facilities in the United States that has sea lions.

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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