Who lives in the woods?
The forest is home to a variety of wildlife species that include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Can you name one from each group you might find in this Delaware forest?
Mammals that frequent the forest include white-tailed deer, red fox, eastern gray squirrels, raccoons, and eastern red bats.
Birds commonly seen and heard in the forest include Turkey vulture, Red-tailed hawks, Cooper’s hawk, Wild turkey, Downy woodpecker, Acadian flycatcher, Red-eyed vireo, American crow, Carolina chickadee, White-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren, Gray catbird, Brown thrasher, Rose-breasted grosbeak, Ovenbird, Chipping sparrow, White-throated sparrow, Baltimore oriole, and more!
Most reptiles and amphibians found in Delaware prefer to be close to wetlands or other waterways. Upland forests, such as this, receive fewer reptilian and amphibian visitors. There are a few, however. For example, you may find reptiles like the Eastern box turtle, Five-lined skink, Little brown skink, Eastern fence lizard, Eastern garter snake, Dekay’s brown snake, Black rat snake, Eastern worm snake, Ring-necked snake, and Smooth earth snake. The Eastern box turtle is the only terrestrial turtle in Delaware.
Amphibians that frequent forested habitats include the common gray treefrog, Cope’s gray treefrog, wood frog, American toad, Fowler’s toad, eastern newt (red eft stage) and red-backed salamander. The red-backed salamander is the only completely terrestrial salamander in Delaware. All other salamanders require aquatic habitats during some portion of their lifecycle.
Many insect species called the forest home. Some of these are the spicebush Swallowtail butterfly, Cecropia moth, Bark beetles, Acorn weevils, Dog ticks, Jumping spiders, Black flies, Walking sticks, Praying mantis, Sweat bees, Mud dauber, Leaf hopper, Carpenter ant, Wolf spider, Common pillbug, Katydid, Millipedes and more! Can you find an insect along the trail?