Chipmunks are easily recognized by the light and dark stripes on the back and head. They can be confused with some of the striped ground squirrels, but chipmunks are smaller, and have facial markings and five dark stripes on their backs, including a distinct, central line that extends forward onto the head. Ground squirrels do not have markings on the head.
Garter snakes are typically 60 centimetres long. While their colouring varies greatly, they are generally recognized by a dark body with three light-coloured stripes down their back and sides (usually shades of yellow, red or orange). Some have speckled markings along the lighter coloured stripes and some small populations are all dark with no stripes.
At only 11-14 cm, the common redpoll is a small bird. A member of the finch family, this streaked bird can be difficult to distinguish from pine siskins. Redpolls are named for their red forehead but this is not always obvious, so look instead for the black patch on their chin to recognize them. To identify the sex of common redpolls look for the slight tinge of rose on the breasts of the males.
Largest freshwater turtle in Canada. Distinguished by their large head and hooked upper jaw. Upper shell has three prominent ridges running length wise. The tail can be nearly as long as the shell and is adorned with triangular shaped projections that protrude from the top.
Size: 20-50 cm
Dark-eyed juncos vary geographically in terms of their colouration. Depending on the region, the backs and sides of dark-eyed juncos can vary from dark grey to reddish-brown. In all regions, however, adults can typically be identified by their dark grey to black coloured head and breast (known as their hood), white outer tail feathers and white undersides. Females are typically smaller than males and are often lighter in colour. Juveniles differ markedly from adults with their streaked appearance and brownish plumage.
Dark-eyed juncos can be identified by their sounds as well. Their most familiar call is a musical trill that’s performed on the same pitch.
Depending on predation, dark-eyed juncos typically live anywhere from three to 11 years in the wild. Their common predators are hawks, owls, cats, squirrels, chipmunks and weasels.
Eastern grey squirrels commonly occur in two colour phases, grey and black, which leads people to think—mistakenly—that there are two different species. The most notable physical feature of the eastern grey squirrel is its large bushy tail. The tail has many important functions. It acts as a rudder when the animal jumps from high places, as a warm covering during the winter, as a signal to other eastern grey squirrels indicating an individual’s mood.
The Eastern Musk Turtle is easily recognized by its' narrow, high arched shell which is less than 13 cm long. Other turtles have wide and flat shells. This turtle has a dull black-brown body except for two distinctive yellow stripes often found on the side of the head. When disturbed the turtle lets off a musky, skunk-like scent.
Ermines have features common to the weasel family like a long body, short legs, a long neck and a triangular-shaped head. They are a small weasel; males average 27 cm and females measure up at 24 cm with their tail adding another 7.5 cm to their length. Males are larger than females and weigh on average 80 g while females weigh an average of 54 g.
Ermines change the colour of their coats seasonally. In the summer, their backs are brown, their undersides are white and their tails sport a black tip. In the winter, they are completely white except for their black tipped tail.
Despite their name, these insects are not flies. They’re actually beetles. There are 29 species believed to be native to Canada, but there is a lot about this group of insects that is still being discovered, including the various species.
Fireflies have elongated bodies and their heads have a “pronotum”, which is a cover that protects the top of their heads although, when viewed from the side, you can see their heads. Their upper pair of wings are hard and also serve as protection, similar to ladybugs, aka ladybeetles, which are in the same Coleoptera family.
Their larval, or immature, form resembles a grub or millipede. Some live on land (terrestrial), some live in water (aquatic) and others are semi-aquatic.
Despite their smooth-skinned appearance, skinks are actually lizards not salamanders. Lizards, which are reptiles, have scales, claws on their feet, and external ear openings, whereas salamanders, which are amphibians, have smooth, moist skin, and lack both claws and ear openings.
Five-lined skinks start off life with a bright blue tail and dark body with 5 broad light-coloured stripes. As they age their tail and body fades to a more uniform brown-grey averaging about 15 - 20 cm in length.
The Great Horned Owl is one of Canada’s commonest large birds of prey. The most notable physical attributes are its large size and prominent ear tufts or "horns." A predator that hunts at night, this owl has enormous yellow eyes set in a broad face, a curved beak and claws, and long fluffy feathers. Its coloration tends mainly toward brown or grey-brown, with conspicuous barring. This bird’s legendary hooting sounds like a soft yet vibrant whoo-hoo-ho-o-o.
Green frogs are relatively large frogs, 6 - 9 cm in length. They can be distinguished from the similar bullfrog by the ridges that run down each side of their back.
To determine the sex of the green frog, look at its eardrum - if it is significantly larger than its eye it's a male, if it's the same size as its eye, it's a female. During the breeding season, you can also tell the males by their yellow throats.
Often called grass snakes, smooth green snakes, as their name implies, are an emerald green colour with a white or yellow underside. This small- to medium-sized snake has smooth scales and ranges in size from 30 to 60 cm.
Approximately 9–11 mm long. These bees can be easily spotted because of their bright metallic green or blue colouration. Females are bright green all over, whereas males have a bright coloured head and thorax with a yellow-and-black striped abdomen. Females have hair-like structures, called scopae, to transport pollen on their back legs.
Greenland sharks are very large, heavy fish. They have a thick body with a blunted snout, tiny eyes, small pectoral fins, and two spineless, nearly equally small dorsal fins. Greenland sharks are uniformly blackish, coffee brown, or slaty or purplish grey; sometimes with white flecks or indistinct dark crossbars. They average 2.5 to 5 metres in length with a maximum of 7.5 metres, and weigh up to one tonne. There is no reliable information on their lifespan.
Wolves of northern North America and Eurasia vary in colour. A single pack may contain animals that are black, shades of grey-brown, and white. Wolves in the heavily forested areas of eastern North America are more uniform in colour. They are often a grizzled grey-brown, similar to some German shepherd dogs.
Male wolves can weigh between 20 to 70 kilograms while the female weighs in at 18 to 55 kilograms. In the wild their lifespan can be from 8 to 16 years.
The groundhog is normally brown in colour but can be completely black or completely white. It is one of Canada’s largest true hibernators. The groundhog is the major hole-digging mammal over much of eastern North America, and in some places in the west, providing all sorts of animals with shelter. The groundhog it spends much of its time eating and sunning when not hibernating or caring for young.
Hammerheads are easily recognized by the unique shape of their head, which resembles a flattened, double-sided hammer. They have a U-shaped mouth filled with triangular teeth and eyes on the sides of their head. They are olive-brown or grey-brown on their dorsal surface and white below. Sometimes their pectoral fins have dark tips. Hammerheads can grow to over four metres in length and weigh more than 400 kilograms.