Can You Identify These Canadian Animals?

By: Heather Cahill

Great horned owls are majestic birds we often find in our own backyards. Excellent hunters, these birds are capable of picking up animals like small dogs. It's always essential to keep an eye out for your pets for this reason!

The moose is another important animal to Canada that often comes up in conversation with visitors from other countries. While moose are mostly secluded animals we don’t see every day, even we marvel at the sight of them!

A beautiful grey cat, the lynx is easily confused with the bobcat. When looking at a lynx, you'll find that its back legs are taller than the front. Unlike many other big cats in the country, it also has a very stubby tail.

Despite being such an iconic Canadian bird, it doesn't appear on any of our coins. They're known for flying in their V formation, which allows them to keep watch on their fellow birds as well as have it easier while flying.

Coming into contact with any bear would be intimidating, but did you know that the black bear is not as large as a grizzly bear? It's still important to be well-versed in what to do when encountering a bear, regardless of its size.

One of the largest of its kind is the timber wolf, and you can find it in our Canadian woods. Usually traveling in packs, the wolves are often family. Did you know that when a wolf finds a mate, they are mates for life?

Arctic hares like to stay where it's cold and snowy most of the time. While when you spot one, you'll usually notice that it seems to be alone, these hares live in huge groups. Three might be a crowd, but 200 is a small town!

Catfish are known for having long whiskers, but did you know that these are used for tasting? Not only does it help with feeling around, but it also identifies what the catfish is about to eat. Catfish come in thousands of different species as well.

When you think of a cougar, you probably picture it roaring or stalking its prey. These animals are among the many predators in the Canadian forests, along with wolves, bears, coyotes and even wolverines.

You've probably seen them on countless Marine Land commercials, but catching a glimpse of these beautiful creatures in the wild is like nothing else. If you see one whale, you'll likely see many of them, as they travel in pods.

The "flag" on a white-tailed deer is better known as its tail, as they lift it when scared or running from something. In addition to this species, there are many other types of deer in Canada, such as the mule deer, which is also similar to the black-tailed deer.

The pronghorn is the fastest in the country, but you have to be when you're hunted by other fast animals! Though they strongly resemble an antelope, they aren't classified as them. These animals inhabit the Great Plains.

Badgers live where it's mostly open, such as fields where they scavenge for food and spend lots of their time digging. Unfortunately, badgers are an endangered species in Canada, but their population is under strict management.

The red fox is somewhat different than a wolf or coyote in that they are usually very solitary. When it's time to mate, however, they come together and most commonly stick with their chosen mate for life. Did you know that a female red fox is known as a vixen?

The bighorn sheep isn't afraid of heights. When they're born, it's high above the ground on the ledge of a mountain. Luckily, they aren't clumsy, and they're built to traverse the rocky and unpredictable terrain.

With most species in the deer family, the males are the only ones with antlers. This isn't true in the case of the caribou, where males and females both have them. However, caribou in the wild don't live very long and do well if they reach 5 years old.

They're hard to miss with their black-and-white coloring! A skunk knows how to ward off danger. First it hopes you’ll leave after seeing it. Then it warns you with a few movements. If you’re still there, it resorts to spraying!

While walking around your neighborhood or backyard, you've probably had a look at this common garter snake. Though they can be scary on the first glimpse, the garter snake isn't usually venomous or poisonous and can't do too much damage.

Polar bears are found in Northern Canada, but they're not an animal that you would want to come face to face with. Their large size and great strength make them exceptional predators that can take down many other animals on the tundra.

Unfortunately, the Vancouver Island marmot is one Canadian species that has been on the decline. They like to inhabit mountainous regions, and there are just around 200 of them still left in the country. One great organization that's helping to protect them is the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation.

Waterfowl can fly at around 60 kilometers per hour, so they have to slow down in construction zones! Did you know that eating dirt is beneficial for waterfowl? It's used to help them ingest their main diet, such as insects.

Monarchs love milkweeds for many reasons. There's poison within the milkweed that the Monarch can ingest but predators of the butterfly cannot. Animals are smart, but the monarch is on the next level for teaching itself this trick!

In the Canadian forests lives an animal that's often thought of as vicious. Wolverines are known for being aggressive, but generally, they keep to themselves. Provoking or bothering them is never a wise idea, however.

You can't take these birds out of the water! It's easy to see these birds in the spring, as they have an intense orange beak which dulls throughout the year. If you're going to look for them, make sure you pack your coat because it gets cold in their habitat.

Raccoons are often treated like pests for their tendency to get into garbage and other things around a yard. When they aren't in your yard, they are often on the hunt looking for food such as snakes or small birds.

The porcupine is not exactly an animal that you want to come in contact with, but they're great to get a look at from afar. These critters were once thought to shoot quills, but it has been proven that the only way to get them is by touching the quills yourself.

The fisher is small but a skilled hunter. While a fisher probably won't try to hunt you, they might try to hunt a small cat, so it's always good to stay on watch in your backyard. Typically, they look for small animals like rabbits or birds to eat. They also love a good feast of fish every now and then as well!

Brown bats are nocturnal and have exceptionally long life spans. One bat can live to be almost 20 years old. One heartbreaking thing about their life span is that many bats aren't able to sustain themselves and die quite young.

With incredible hearing, these birds are great at getting enough food to survive. Their white feathers allow them to blend in with the snow in the arctic conditions that they live in. They have no trouble surviving in the coldest of temperatures, just like Canadians!

This snake tends to live in Southern Ontario. It's mostly calm so long as you don't threaten it. They're often so well hidden that you won't even see them. What you don't know can't hurt you, right?

Honey bees are important in almost every habitat, and they're crucial to Canada as a whole. Without them, the vegetation in the country would start dying. Honey Nut Cheerios is one example of companies doing their part to help sustain the bees that we rely on.

Though it can look very much like a red fox, the pine marten is actually much different. Did you know that they are born like cats and dogs where they're both blind and deaf? The two senses start developing as they grow older.

Harp seals live in harsh conditions, so they always need to be prepared. Since they can't just go out to the store to pick up a coat, they instead grow their own each year in order to keep themselves warm. They also have a unique ability to stay underwater for long periods of time.

The loonie was given this unique name for a reason — there's a loon on one side. While this bird is uniquely Canadian in many ways, it's also found in the United States. Did you know that the loon can indicate an environment that is especially healthy?

Otters are much more than just playful, they also are happy to help out their fellow otters. Adoption is not uncommon in the otter world, as otter mothers are always happy to help out in raising young. This was found to be true in an aquarium which tested the theory with their mother otter.

Elk is part of the deer family, and it's also called a wapiti by the Native Americans. Just as most others in the deer family, the elk lose its antlers every year. They love the mountains, so if you want to get a look at them, you'll have to pack your hiking clothes.

A walrus is found up near the North Pole but has nothing to do with Santa. Not much can pose a risk to it except for polar bears that are always looking for a bite to eat. To be prepared for Arctic cold conditions, the walrus is packed with thick blubber that works to keep it warm.

Narwhals are known for some gigantic tusks at their lip. They're made of ivory which grows in a spiral pattern. Unfortunately, this majestic animal is under protection as they are close to being threatened.

The beaver is a huge part of Canadian culture, showing up on the Canadian nickel. Did you know that these adorable animals slap their tails against the water when they are scared? It also serves as a warning.

With large muscles to help it survive in the terrain, the bison is over 1,000 pounds. Unfortunately, like many other species, the bison population has been on the decline due to a few factors such as loss of habitat.

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Image: Brent Mooers / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

From a squirrel on the way to work to a deer in a field on the way home, there's wildlife all over Canada — whether you know it or not! You don't need to venture far into the woods to see animals, as they can be found in even the biggest cities as well. While in the city, it's most common to see smaller animals like chipmunks or raccoons, on rare occasions you can see other large animals. You've seen them, but can you name them?

In Canada, you've probably learned all of your Canadian animals in school. However, many animals are easy to get confused with one another. Usually, if you can identify distinct features or behaviours of an animal, then you'll be able to tell which of the two animals it really is. Other animals, such as grizzly bears and black bears, are much easier to tell from one another. One big factor is their different coloring and size. Canadians have an amazing opportunity to encounter these incredible animals almost any time that we step outside. We just have to know the best way to observe the animals in their daily lives and keep safety in mind.

If you can tell a beaver from an otter, then this is the quiz for you. See how well you know your Canadian animals with this quiz!

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