10 Native Scottish Animals You Need To Know About
The natural world is the greatest source of excitement, visual beauty, and intellectual interest, to quote the great Sir David Attenborough. It is the greatest source of everything that makes life worthwhile. With its playground of diverse ecosystems, Scotland is teeming with small creatures, each with its own distinct characteristics. Here are the indigenous Scottish animals you must know.
Scottish Animals #1 Badger
With the exception of the Isles, the badger, with its distinctive and fashionable monochrome striped face, is found throughout most of Scotland. These animals live in intricately constructed burrow systems or setts and tend to congregate. The badger cubs are born between January and February and remain underground until the spring. Badgers have a strong preference for earthworms and consume them by the dozen, in addition to fruits, small mammals (including hedgehogs), and other foods. Badgers, which are related to stoats, otters, and weasels and are members of the mustelid family, can be found near forested areas.
Scottish Animals #2 Red Squirrel
Unless you know where to look, finding a red squirrel can sometimes be like finding a needle in a haystack. The Scottish Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway are home to a number of these red-coated beauties. Red squirrels are smaller than their grey counterparts, which explains why they can sometimes become outnumbered. Whether searching for Nessie in the woods and glens near Loch Ness, exploring the Caledonian Pinewoods of Strathspey and Deeside, or hiking the Landmark Nature Trail in Carrbridge, it is safe to say that these red wonders will not be far away. Simply look for chewed-up pinecones and listen for leaves rustling!
Scottish Animals #3 Pine Marten
After facing extinction head-on during the 19th century, the pine marten has returned to Scotland. The pine marten is irrefutably adorable, with its chocolate and yellowish fur and perceptive eyes. These swift creatures, which resemble a cross between a teddy bear, a Burmese cat, a fox, and a mouse, have a strong preference for wooded areas. Those eager to find these fascinating animals should head to the pine forests of the central Highlands, while those determined to see them should seriously consider a wildlife tour.
Scottish Animals #4 Mountain Hare
There is something so noble about the mountain hare, the native hare of Scotland, with its wise eyes and assertive large ears. With their large snowshoe-like feet, these swift creatures can be found frolicking in heather. Their coats can adapt to the season, ranging from white with blue hues in the winter to pale slate grey and dusty brown in the summer. Mountain hares are found throughout the Scottish highlands, from the moorlands of Shetland and the flatlands surrounding Flanders Moss to the Cairngorms.
Scottish Animals #5 Orkney Vole
The Orkney vole, with its small ears, rounded face, and small tail, inhabits the Orkney Islands, located off the northern coast of Scotland. This animal, which is twice the size of a field vole, is not deterred by daylight, making it easy prey for the occasional hen harrier or short-eared owl. The Orkney vole is easier to spot in the summer due to the fact that it spends the winter underground in tunnels.
Scottish Animals #6 Wildcat from Scotland
The elusive and solitary Scottish wildcat does not need a human to survive. In fact, these cats will go out of their way to avoid human contact, making them one of the most difficult animals to spot in Scotland. Significantly larger than a domestic cat, the Scottish wildcat is primarily gray in color and has a brilliantly bushy tail with seven black bands. They are known to breed with domestic cats, but their skulls are significantly larger. Regarding observing these cats, best of luck!
Scottish Animals #7 Red Deer
When it comes to Scotland, the red deer reigns supreme as the King of the Glen. These animals are the largest land mammals in the United Kingdom. During the rut or mating season, the stags’ multi-branched antlers are most captivating when they are in full roar. In general, winter is the best time to hunt deer, as they populate the landscape and you simply need to be vigilant.
Scottish Animals #8 Seal Grey
Admire seals? Great. They are abundant in Scotland, specifically the grey seal. Many go so far as to assert that Scotland is the ideal location for them. Whether on a train or exploring the coast on foot, catching a glimpse of these grey marvels glistening like silver near the sands is always a highlight of the day. The months of October and November are ideal for observing a seal colony, as breeding season brings the animals ashore.
Scottish Animals #9 Minke Whale
The iconic and graceful minke whale is no stranger to the turbulent Scottish waters. These awe-inspiring sea creatures can grow up to 10 meters in length and can emerge and disappear from the surface in a matter of seconds. During the summer months, seafaring types can spot minke whales in the waters between Mull and Ardnamurchan, Tiree and Coll, and beyond. With multiple boat tours available, whale watchers will feel at home.
Scottish Animals #10 Dolphin Bottlenose
Although bottlenose dolphins are dispersed throughout the globe, Scotland is home to resident populations in the Moray Firth, the Firth of Forth, and the Hebrides. These dolphins are gifted with a substantial amount of blubber to keep them warm in the frigid water. There have been reports of dolphins inhabiting Scottish waters as early as the 1900s.
Topic: 10 Native Scottish Animals You Need To Know About
Join the “I Left My Heart in Scotland” in Our Community on Facebook. A place where members can be honest with each other, share their stories and travel photos, and try out a new way to see Scotland together.
By: Travel Pixy