Along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay wetlands provide a home for many different animals.
Listen...Look...can you find the animals that call this special place home?
Can you find the snake? Black rat snakes are skilled climbers searching in trees for birds and eggs to eat. Also look for black rat snakes along the shoreline where they may be hunting frogs and small mammals. This snake is not poisonous but instead wraps its long body around an animal and squeezes tightly. Then, the snake swallows the animal whole. The black rat snake is Maryland's largest snake with some snakes growing 7 or 8 feet long.
The eastern painted turtles are basking on the log to warm themselves. They sit motionless, soaking up the sun, until something disturbs them. Then, they quickly slide into the water and disappear. Painted turtles always eat underwater. They are not picky eaters, hunting for fish, insects, tadpoles, plants, seeds, and even dead animals. You can spot a painted turtle by the yellow, orange, and red colors on its shell and body. The painted turtle is one of the most common turtles in Maryland but do not look for them in winter. They are all sleeping in the mud at the bottom of this wetland.
The muskrat is swimming across the water. Can you see the long thin tail moving back and forth? Muskrats are good swimmers, using their large back feet to move through the water. Did you know that a muskrat can stay underwater for up to 15 minutes? This helps them swim under ice, escape enemies and find food. Muskrats search the wetlands for roots and stems of plants to eat and sometimes even a frog or crayfish. Muskrats are active all year long. Their dense soft fur keeps them warm during our cold winters.
...search with your ears and eyes for other animals that live here.