Wildlife in Connecticut

Wildlife in Connecticut
Although Connecticut is one of the smallest states in the Union, it has quite a diverse population of wildlife. There are many types of mammals that inhabit Connecticut--this includes a couple of species that many would be surprised to learn live in this New England state. In addition, there are many species of birds and several different kinds of fish that call Connecticut their home.


There are eight species of bats that live in Connecticut, with the big brown bat and the little brown bat comprising the largest number of these winged mammals. Rodents such as chipmunks, gray squirrels, red squirrels, cottontail rabbits, muskrats, flying squirrels, woodchucks and beaver are present, with the beaver making a comeback from being endangered in the state. Striped skunks, otters, raccoons and opossums can be found in the Nutmeg State, as can predators such as the red fox, the gray fox, the coyote, the bobcat and surprisingly enough the black bear. Bear sightings in Connecticut are frequent, with towns such as Simsbury, Canton, and Granby having over 100 in the one-year period between May of 2008 and May of 2009. In addition, Connecticut's northern forests have an estimated 100 moose living in them, with this large member of the deer family advancing southwards from neighboring Massachusetts. White-tailed deer are incredibly abundant throughout the state as well.


There is certainly no shortage of bird species in Connecticut. Raptors such as the red-tailed hawk, bald eagle, osprey, turkey vulture, barn owl, screech owl and great horned owl patrol the skies looking for a meal. Waterfowl like the Canada goose, wood duck, mallard duck, mute swan, great blue heron and American bittern live in and around Connecticut rivers, lakes and ponds. Ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, woodcock, bobwhite quail, crows, ring-necked pheasants and mourning doves populate the state as do blue jays, ravens, bluebirds, cedar waxwings, cardinals, nuthatches, sparrows, warblers, mockingbirds, cowbirds, blackbirds, woodpeckers, flickers, orioles, chickadees, juncos and the robin, which is the state bird.


The anglers that reside in Connecticut have an excellent choice of freshwater species to pursue in their leisure time. The northern pike has been championed by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and stocked in several lakes across the state. Walleye have also been stocked in various locations, as have channel catfish. Native species such as the smallmouth and largemouth bass can be found in rivers, large streams and lakes while rainbow, brown, and brook trout are raised at the Quinebaug Hatchery in Plainfield and released in the spring and fall. White perch, yellow perch, dace, bullheads, pickerel, black crappies, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, shad, eels and kokanee all dwell in the waters of Connecticut.

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