DEEP: Connecticut Animals Fun Facts

Connecticut Animal Fun Facts

Mammals Birds Amphibians/Reptiles
Fish/Marine Life Insects

MAMMALS {Running Bunny}

Interesting Mammal Facts

  • Black bears born in winter dens weigh about 1/2 pound each
  • Connecticut's 3,000+ coyote population has increased from 0 coyotes 40 years ago
  • Gray squirrels live about one year in the wild, 6+ years with consistent food supply
  • There were no beavers in Connecticut by mid 1800's, now they number 5,000+
  • Opossums can live up to 5-7 years in the wild
  • White-tailed deer number about 75,000 in Connecticut
  • If beaver flowage is iced over, beavers begin to live off body fat food caches
  • Raccoons and opossums remain in dens on cold nights

February

  • Mid February to mid March-beavers breed
  • Mid February - is when white-tailed deer bucks have shed their antlers
  • Gray squirrels mate around mid to late February 
  • Late February - skunks leave dens in search of mates

March

  • During the first week of March chipmunks start emerging from dens
  • Early March - aggressive muskrats fight for territory and mates
  • Late March - beavers will be seen gnawing on fresh trees
  • Late March - black bears start to emerge from dens

April

  • Early April to mid-May - eastern coyote pups born
  • Early April - raccoons and eastern striped skunks are born
  • Early April - white-tailed deer antlers beginning to develop
  • Best trout fishing late April through May

May

  • During May, 80% of the year's catch of largemouth bass is caught

June

  • 9-10 week old squirrels will be seen exploring territory in early June
  • Early June - most beaver kits born
  • White-tailed deer give birth to fawns this month

July

  • Late July - young little brown bats learn to fly at night

October

  • Early October - bats begin to travel to hibernaculas
  • Late October - Woodchucks begin to hibernate for winter

November

  • Last two weeks of November - breeding season for white-tailed deer at its peak

December

  • Gray squirrels are foraging for acorns and nuts

BIRDS {Maturing Bird}

Interesting Bird Facts

  • The Song sparrow is among the state's most common breeding birds
  • The American robin, Connecticut's state bird, typically raises 2 broods a year
  • Wild turkeys disappeared by 1813; restored by DEP biologists in 1975 now number over 30,000
  • There were 9 active osprey nests in 1974; 95 active in 1995
  • The midwinter bald eagle count record of 128 birds was set in 1996

January

  • Wintering birds feed on red cedar berries, aiding in seed dispersal
  • Ruffed grouse roost in hemlocks and eat aspen buds as a winter diet
  • In winter, blue jays travel in loosely organized groups

February

  • Bald eagle populations reach winter season peak
  • Owls hoot as they announce breeding territories
  • Mid February - Great horned owl eggs hatch
  • Late February - Red-winged blackbirds return to wetlands, a harbinger of spring

March

  • Early March - Mourning dove egg laying begins
  • Early March - Bald eagles begin departing for northern areas
  • Mid March - Wood ducks returning and remaining through November
  • Late March - Ospreys start to return to Connecticut
  • Late March - Canada geese begin nesting


April

  • Early April - Tom turkeys begin gobbling and displaying for hens
  • Mid April - Songbirds are starting to migrate through the state
  • Late April - Great blue herons are nesting in dead standing trees near wetlands

May

  • Early May - Heron and egret nesting begins on offshore islands
  • Early May through June - Wood duck broods are hatching
  • Peak of warbler migration first 2 weeks in May
  • Early May - Canada goose eggs hatch
  • May 8th, 1992 bald eagle chick hatches in Connecticut first in 40 years
  • May 30th, 1997 peregrine falcon chicks hatch in Hartford, first in 50 years

June

  • Early June - peak of songbird nesting season
  • Early June - mallard ducklings are hatching

August

  • End of August - Many birds begin migrating south

September

  • Early September - start of Common Nighthawk migration through Connecticut
  • Mid September - Hawks beginning to migrate south, following mountain ridges and shorelines
  • Mid September - Songbirds begin migrating at night
  • Mid September - Peak of Broad-winged hawk migration
  • Late September - Starlings and resident blackbirds begin congregating into winter flocks

November

  • Early November-Wood ducks migrating out of state

December

  • Early December-bald eagles begin arriving from the north
  • Early December-Blue jays are caching acorns

AMPHIBIANS/REPTILES {Crawling Lizard}

  • Redback salamander is the most common salamander in Connecticut
  • Snapping turtles can live 20+ years

January

  • In January - a Painted turtle's pulse drops to one beat every 10 minutes
  • The Spring peeper can survive over winter with 65% of its body water as ice

March

  • Early March - Wood frogs are heard around wetlands
  • Warm evening rains stimulate amphibian migrations to vernal pools for mating

April

  • In early weeks of April - Painted turtles begin to come out of water to sun themselves
  • Box turtles winter a few feet underground until late April or early May

May

  • Mid May - timber rattlesnakes begin dispersing from den sites

June

  • Early June - hind legs appearing on tadpoles
  • Early June - snapping turtles come onto land to lay 20-30 soft eggs

October

  • Timber rattlesnakes returning to den sites

FISH/MARINE LIFE {Swimming Fish}

  • There are more that 120 species of finfish in the sound, at least 50 species spawn there

January

  • Early January 1995, seals were sunning themselves on ice floes in Connecticut River in Rocky Hill,

March

  • Mid March - Harbor seals begin to depart Long Island Sound for northern summer waters

April

  • Early April - striped bass migrating north to Connecticut waters
  • Mid April - winter flounder start moving to deeper water
  • Late April - Shad are running in Connecticut River

May

  • Mid-May - bluefish returning to Long Island Sound

June

  • Early June - Shad migrate out through Long Island Sound to Atlantic Ocean
  • Late June to early July is principal lobster spawning season in Long Island Sound

October

  • Mid October - Brown and brook trout begin spawning

November

  • Early November - Bluefish and striped bass are migrating south along eastern seaboard
  • Mid-November - Winter flounder are moving to shallow water
  • Mid-November - Harbor seals are arriving in Long Island Sound from Northern New England's cooler waters

INSECTS {Flying Insect}

  • Cicadas, generally louder at night are quieter on cloudy days
  • Dragonflies land with wings spread; damselflies land with wings together above their bodies

February

  • Early February - Springtails, a type of primitive insect, appear to pepper the snow at the base of trees

March

  • Mid-March - if the snow has melted, mosquito larvae are found in vernal pools
  • Late March - mourning cloak butterflies will be seen on sunny days

May

  • Mid-May - mosquitoes emerge from vernal pools
  • Mosquito species need low light and humid conditions to breed.

June

  • June 1st  is the beginning of trapping and testing of mosquitoes for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV)
  • Early June - Fireflies begin to come out at dusk

July

  • Butterfly counts conducted
  • Mosquitoes out in force
  • Early July - Katydids begin calling around this time

August

  • Insects in full chorus in Connecticut fields
  • Late August - Monarch butterflies are migrating to Mexico

October

  • Early to mid-October - Adult mosquitoes disappear after the first frost
  • Early to mid-October - the first frost will quiet the raucous crickets and grasshoppers

December

  • Early December - Beetles still active under rocks and bark

Earth Day

The Herring CLosure is now in effect.