North American Animals: Breathtaking Wildlife to Experience

Did you know there are 23 countries in North America? And they’re packed with animals on land and in the air and sea. 

You could take a trip to Haiti to see hutia, visit Canada to check out the stoat, or you could just keep reading to learn about both.  

This continent is home to everything from beavers to bison and North American manatee to mountain bluebirds. If you’re an animal lover, North America can put on a dazzling show.

We can’t forget Jamaica with its birds, and Mexico has armadillos. There’s a smorgasbord of animals to delight in when you talk about North American species.

So let’s jump into the deep end, and by the time we’re done, you’ll be an expert on what’s creeping, crawling, flying, and swimming in this unique area on Earth.

Overview of North American Animals

To get a clear picture of the animals of this continent, we need to talk about their habitats and behaviors. And did you know mountain lions/cougars are the same animals, and so are water moccasins/cottonmouth snakes?

Creatures give us an unending education; if we’re smart, we can learn about ourselves from watching them. 

If you haven’t seen a warteye stargazer (a venomous fish) in the waters of the Caribbean, you can at least giggle at their name. 

Musk oxen in Greenland look like a cross between a miniature horse and a bison. Or so I see it, but you can form your own opinion. There are so many species and so little time. Let’s get going to meet as many as we can.

Official National Animals of North America

You’ve probably heard of the USA’s national bird and mammal, the Bald Eagle and the bison. But did you know many countries on the continent have their own national animal? Here’s a breakdown of these famous critters and why they’re so important:

Anguilla – (Zenaida Dove)

Locally referred to as “turtle dove.” It’s a member of the bird family that includes pigeons and breeds throughout the Caribbean and Yucatan Peninsula.

Antigua and Barbuda – (Fallow Deer, Frigate, Hawksbill Turtle)

The Fallow deer came to the islands in the early 1700s when they were brought there as a result of European colonialism. The frigate is a distant relative of the pelican.

The island of Barbuda has the largest colony of frigates in the world, with 100,000 of them. And finally, the Hawksbill turtle…This Critically Endangered species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was looked at by early Indians as a “gift from the gods.” They are cherished, however, in Antigua.

Canada – (North American Beaver, Canadian Horse)

The beaver was chosen to show Canada’s sovereignty, including a story about King Henry IV of France. The Canadian horse is known for its strength, endurance, temperament, resilience, and intelligence.

Cuba – (Cuban Rogon)

This bird was chosen because its colors are similar to the ones that fly on the Cuban flag. They have Heterodactic digits/toes, which means digits 3 and 4 point forward and digits 1 and 2 point back. Mind officially blown!  

Jamaica – (Red-Billed Streamertail)

This gorgeous specimen, also known as the doctor bird, is endemic to the island. The hummingbird flashes iridescent colors and is the pride of Jamaicans.

Mexico – (Xoloitzcuintli Dog)

These dogs were considered to be sacred by the Aztecs and the Mayans. There are 2,000-year-old tombs in western Mexico with vessels inside shaped like dogs.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines – (St. Vincent Parrot)

Imagine a rainbow. Now imagine one that flies, and you’ll have this parrot. The bird is the only type of parrot on the islands.

North American Animals List