Also known as the big-eye or branch herring, the alewife is a thin, silver fish with a single dark shoulder spot located behind its head.
American Black Bear
Also known as the cinnamon bear, the American black bear is a common bear whose color varies from black to yellow-brown.
American Black Duck
The American black duck is a dusky brown dabbling duck that appears black from a distance. It lives year-round along the quiet, isolated tidal wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
The American coot is a dark, duck-like bird with a white bill. It visits the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers, creeks and wetlands from autumn through spring.
The American eel is a smooth, snake-like fish with a greenish, yellowish-brown or blackish body. It lives in rivers, streams and other freshwater areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The American halfbeak is a long, skinny fish that visits the Chesapeake Bay’s shallow waters in summer and autumn.
The American oystercatcher is a large, stocky shorebird with a distinctive long, blade-like, reddish-orange bill. It lives on beaches, mud flats and exposed oyster bars along the lower Chesapeake Bay.
Also known as longleaf pondweed, American pondweed is a rooted, perennial herb that has both submerged and floating leaves.
Also known as white shad, the American shad is a thin river herring with a metallic body and dark spots on its shoulder. It visits the Chesapeake Bay each spring to spawn in freshwater rivers and streams.
Arks are boxy bivalves with thick, white, ribbed shells. They live in the salty waters of the lower Chesapeake Bay.
Arrow arum is a native perennial plant with large, arrowhead-shaped leaves. It grows in shallow, tidal fresh waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
The Atlantic croaker is a silvery-pink fish that makes a loud “croaking” sound. It visits the Chesapeake Bay from spring through autumn.
Atlantic Ghost Crab
Also known as the sand crab, the Atlantic ghost crab is a sand-colored crustacean with a distinct pair of white claws. Ghost crabs are active on coastal beaches in the Chesapeake Bay region from spring through autumn.
Atlantic menhaden is a silvery-blue herring with dark spots on the sides. Large schools of menhaden visit the Chesapeake Bay from spring through autumn.
The Atlantic needlefish is a skinny, silvery fish with long, tooth-filled jaws. It lives in the Chesapeake Bay’s shallow waters from spring through autumn.
Atlantic Oyster Drill
The Atlantic oyster drill is a small, predatory snail with a pointed, ribbed shell. It lives on reefs, rocks and pilings throughout the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
Atlantic Ribbed Mussel
The Atlantic ribbed mussel is a bivalve with dark, ribbed shells. It is found in low marshes and mud flats throughout the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
The Atlantic silverside is a small forage fish with a silver band along either side of its body. It can be found in schools in the Bay, and is an important part of many larger fishes’ diets.
The Atlantic sturgeon is a bony, ancient-looking fish that visits the Chesapeake Bay in spring to spawn in Virginia’s James and York rivers. It was once found throughout the Bay and its freshwater rivers, but is now very rare.
Atlantic White Cedar
The Atlantic white cedar is a tall evergreen tree with scaly, fan-shaped foliage and a cone-like shape. It grows in swamps, marshes and other wet areas near the coast in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
The bald cypress is a tall deciduous tree with needle-like leaves and distinctive “knees” that rise up from the soil or water around it. It grows in swamps and forests in parts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
The barn swallow is a small, agile bird that visits open waters, wetlands and farm fields throughout the Chesapeake Bay region from spring through autumn.
Barnacles are small, grayish-white crustaceans that live on rocks, pilings, boat hulls and other hard surfaces throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
Barred owls are large owls with round heads and a stout stature. They can be recognized by their "who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all" call. Barred owls and common barn owls are the only eastern owl species that have dark brown eyes.
The bay anchovy is a small, translucent fish that lives in schools throughout the Chesapeake Bay. It is the most abundant fish in the Bay.
The bay scallop is a bivalve that lives in the lower Chesapeake Bay’s salty, shallow waters. Its ribbed, multicolored shells are often found on beaches throughout the lower Bay.
The beaver is a large, brown, semi-aquatic mammal with a distinctive flattened, paddle-like tail. It lives in lakes, streams and forested wetlands throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Big Brown Bat
The big brown bat is a large copper or chocolate brown bat with long fur, rounded ears and a broad nose.
The black drum is a silvery-gray, bottom-dwelling fish that visits the Chesapeake Bay from spring through autumn. It is one of the largest fish in the Bay.
Black Rat Snake
Elaphe obsolete obsoleta
The black rat snake is a non-venomous snake with a long, black body and white belly. It can be found throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, from the mountains to the shoreline.
Black Sea Bass
The black sea bass is a striking, bluish-black fish that visits the lower Chesapeake Bay from spring through autumn.
Black-crowned Night Heron
The black-crowned night heron is a small, stocky wading bird that lives year-round in marshes and wetlands throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
The black-eyed Susan is a native plant with golden yellow flowers that bloom throughout the summer.
Black-Fingered Mud Crab
Also known as the Atlantic mud crab, the black-fingered mud crab is muddy brown in color with stout, black-tipped claws. It can be found on oyster reefs and along the muddy bottoms of marshes.
Blazing star is a native perennial plant with clumps of feathery purple or white flowers that bloom in summer.
Blennies are small, brightly colored fish that live in the Chesapeake Bay year-round, mostly among oyster reefs.
The blue crab is a swimming crustacean with bright blue claws and an olive green shell. It is one of the most recognizable species in the Chesapeake Bay.
Blue flag is a native perennial plant with delicate violet flowers that bloom in spring.
This small dabbling duck is named for the powder-blue patches on its forewings. It can be found in the marshes and wetlands of the Chesapeake region in spring and fall.
The bluefish is a large, long fish with a greenish-blue body and a forked tail. It visits the Chesapeake Bay’s open waters from spring through autumn.
The bluegill is a colorful sunfish with an olive green, saucer-shaped body. It lives in lakes, ponds, streams and other freshwater bodies throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The bobcat is a wild cat that is brownish with dark spots and stripes. It lives mostly in forested and mountainous areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The boring sponge is a thick, bright yellow sponge that grows on oyster reefs throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
The bottlenose dolphin is a large, grayish aquatic mammal that visits the lower and middle Chesapeake Bay in summer.
Similar to hydrilla in appearance and growth, Brazilian waterweed is recognizable by its stem and whorls of two to six small leaves. Generally, it can be found drifting or rooted at depths of 20 feet or less.
The brief squid is a small, free-swimming mollusk with a soft body and arm-like tentacles. It lives throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay.
Bristle worms are soft, segmented worms found along shorelines, mud flats and shallow waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
The broad-headed skink is the largest skink in the Chesapeake Bay region. It gets its name from the large, swollen jowls males develop as they mature.
The brook trout is a brilliantly colored fish that lives in clear, cold freshwater streams and rivers in undeveloped areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The brown bullhead is a smooth-skinned catfish with a mottled, brownish body and whisker-like barbels around the mouth. It lives in slow-moving ponds, streams and rivers throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The brown pelican is a large, dark-colored water bird that lives along the shores of the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay during summer.
The bufflehead is a small, chunky, energetic diving duck that visits the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers from autumn through spring.
Bull sharks are stout, gray sharks that can range from 7 to 11.5 feet in length and weigh between 200 and 500 pounds. The sharks are a summertime visitor to the Chesapeake Bay.
Butterflyweed, also known as butterfly flower or butterfly milkweed, is a native perennial plant with that blooms in late spring and early summer.
The Canada goose is a large, plump bird with a brownish back and a long, black neck. It is a common visitor to the Chesapeake Bay region from autumn through spring. Many Canada geese also live in the Bay watershed year-round.
The canvasback is a large diving duck with a distinctive long, sloping facial profile. It visits the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers from autumn through spring.
Cardinal flower is a native perennial plant with small, red, tubular flowers that bloom in late summer.
The Carolina chickadee is a small, plump songbird that lives in wooded areas, including parks and backyards, throughout the southern half of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Cattails are a native perennial plant with distinctive brown, sausage-shaped “tails.” They grow in fresh and brackish wetlands throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The channel catfish is a large, smooth-skinned fish with a bluish- or greenish-gray body and whisker-like barbels around the mouth. It lives in fresh and brackish rivers throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Chinese Mitten Crab
The Chinese mitten crab is a light brown crustacean with a distinct pair of hairy, white-tipped claws. Native to East Asia, the invasive species has been reported in small numbers in the Chesapeake Bay.
Cobia are large, long fish with a dark stripe running along the sides of the body. They visit the lower Chesapeake Bay’s open waters from spring through autumn.
Comb jellies are transparent, jelly-like invertebrates with bright, iridescent color bands. They live near the water’s surface in the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
The carp is a large, sturdy fish with thick scales. Native to Europe, the carp was introduced to the Chesapeake region in the late 1800s and can now be found throughout the rivers, lakes and ponds of the watershed.
The common goldeneye is an active diving duck that can be identified by its golden yellow eyes and white, rounded face patches. It visits the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers from late autumn through spring.
Common Grass Shrimp
The common grass shrimp has a delicate, nearly transparent body with a distinctive serrated “horn” over the eyes. It lives in shallow waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
The common loon is a duck-like sea bird with a thick, pointed bill and a distinctive black-and-white checkered pattern during breeding season. It visits the Chesapeake Bay in autumn and late winter to feed on open waters.
Common Sea Star
The common sea star is a spiny-skinned echinoderm with five pointed arms. It lives mainly on rocks, jetties and pilings in the shallow, salty waters of the lower Chesapeake Bay.
Common Spider Crab
Also known as the portly spider crab or the nine-spined spider crab, the common spider crab is a long-legged and slow-moving crustacean that covers itself in algae and small debris as a defense against predators.
Common waterweed is a bay grass that grows in slow-moving fresh waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Coontail is a bushy-looking bay grass with whorls of stiff, forked leaves along densely branched stems. It grows mostly in quiet freshwater areas such as the upper Chesapeake Bay and rivers, streams, lakes and ponds throughout the Bay watershed.
The Cooper's Hawk is a mid-sized hawk with broad, rounded wings and a long tail. It can be found year-round in wooded areas throughout most of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The copperhead snake is one of only a few venomous snakes found in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, although it is rarely lethal to humans.
The cownose ray is a brown, kite-shaped ray with a long, whip-like tail. It is a highly migratory species along the Atlantic Coast that visits the Chesapeake Bay’s shallow waters in summer each year to give birth and mate.
Curly pondweed is a bay grass with broad, curly leaves along flat, branched stems. It grows in fresh non-tidal to slightly brackish tidal waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The deer tick—named for its preferred host, the white-tailed deer—can carry and transmit to humans the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Ticks are most active in late spring and summer.
Delmarva Fox Squirrel
Sciurus niger cinereus
The Delmarva fox squirrel is a large, gray squirrel that lives in quiet forests on the Delmarva Peninsula.
The devil crayfish is a brownish red crustacean that resembles a miniature lobster. They typically have red-tipped claws. They can be found burrowing in forested areas where the water table is near the surface.
The diamondback terrapin, Maryland’s official state reptile, is an aquatic turtle with distinctive diamond-shaped rings covering its shell. It lives in and around the Chesapeake Bay’s brackish tidal waters, including rivers and marshes.
Didymo is a type of algae that forms dense mats at the bottom of freshwater streams. It is an invasive species.
The double-crested cormorant is a large, black water bird with a long, hooked bill. It lives year-round on the Chesapeake Bay’s shallow and open waters.
Eastern Box Turtle
Terrapene carolina carolina
The eastern box turtle is a terrestrial reptile found primarily in woodlands across the Chesapeake watershed.
The eastern cottontail is a brownish, medium-sized rabbit that lives in fields, farms, woods and backyards throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Eastern Garter Snake
Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis
The eastern garter snake is a common terrestrial snake known for the three white or yellow stripes that run down the length of its back.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
The eastern gray squirrel is a grayish-brown, bushy-tailed rodent that lives in forests, parks and backyards throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Also known as the American or Virginia oyster, the eastern oyster is a bivalve with two rough, whitish shells. It forms reefs in brackish and salty waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
This small, well-camouflaged owl can be found year-round throughout forested areas of the Bay watershed.
Eastern Tiger Salamander
The eastern tiger salamander is thick bodied, with yellow blotches on its dark brown or black skin. It can be found in parts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
Eelgrass is a bay grass with long, ribbon-like leaves. It grows in the saltier waters of the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer is a green, shiny beetle that lives on ash trees in certain parts of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. It is an invasive species.
Eurasian watermilfoil is a bay grass with whorls of feathery leaves along long, branching stems. It grows in quiet fresh and slightly brackish waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
European Gypsy Moth
The European gypsy moth is one of the most destructive pests that has ever been introduced to North America. Moth larvae gorge themselves on the foliage of shrubs and trees, leaving the plants bare and susceptible to disease and damage from other pests.
European Honey Bee
The European honey bee, found worldwide, is known for its delicious honey and painful sting.
Fiddler crabs are small crustaceans with a distinctive enlarged claw. They live on beaches, mud flats and marshes throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
Flatworms are tiny, leaf-shaped worms that live among reefs, jetties and eelgrass meadows in the shallows of the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
Trichechus manatus latirostris
The Florida manatee is a large, gray aquatic mammal that occasionally visits the Chesapeake Bay’s shallow waters in summer.
The ghost anemone is a jelly-like invertebrate with a flat, rounded base and stinging tentacles at the top of an elongated stalk. It lives on rocks, reefs, pilings and other hard surfaces throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
The glossy ibis is a heron-like wading bird with dark green and purple plumage. It visits Chesapeake Bay marshes and wetlands from spring through autumn.
Gobies are small, secretive fish that live in the Chesapeake Bay year-round, mostly among oyster reefs.
Gould’s shipworm is a bivalve with a long, worm-like body. It lives within untreated wood, such as pilings and driftwood, in the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
The gray fox has coarse, gray fur and a black-tipped tail. It can be found from southern Canada to the northern Columbia and Venezuela.
Great Blue Heron
The great blue heron is a tall, bluish-gray wading bird with a long, pointed bill and a graceful, S-shaped neck. It lives year-round in marshes and wetlands throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
The great egret is a large, white wading bird with long, lacy plumes on the back. It visits the Chesapeake Bay region’s marshes and wetlands from spring through autumn.
The greater scaup visits the east coast of the Chesapeake region during the winter. Females are brown with a white patch on their face, and males are white with a dark rump and head.
The greater yellowlegs is a slender shorebird with a long, upturned bill and distinctive yellow or orange legs.
The green heron is a small, crow-like wading bird with a chestnut neck and grayish-green back. It visits the Chesapeake Bay region’s marshes and wetlands from spring through autumn.
The green treefrog is a small amphibian that can be found in ponds, lakes, marshes and streams.
The green-winged teal is a small dabbling duck with iridescent green patches on its head and wings. It lives in tidal marshes and wetlands throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers from autumn through spring.
The hard clam is a bivalve with thick, ridged, rounded shells. It lives in the salty waters of the lower Chesapeake Bay.
Hermit crabs are small crustaceans that lack a shell and must “borrow” one from another animal. They live on beaches, mud flats and shallow waters throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay.
The hickory shad is a river herring with a thin, grayish-green body and several spots on the shoulder. It visits the Chesapeake Bay each spring to spawn in freshwater rivers.
The unusually-named hogchoker is a small, flat fish with a brown, rounded body. It is abundant year-round throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
The hooded merganser is a diving duck with a distinctive fan-like hood on the back of the head. It lives on freshwater lakes, wooded wetlands and tidal shallows throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed from autumn through spring.
The hooked mussel is a bivalve whose dark, ridged shell is strongly curved, or “hooked” on one end. It is prolific in oyster reefs—often “wrapping up” oysters—and can outnumber the amount of oysters by several fold.
Horned pondweed is a bay grass with long, thread-like leaves and distinctive horned seeds in spring. It grows in fresh and medium-salinity tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
The horseshoe crab is a primitive-looking arthropod with a hard, brownish-green exoskeleton and a spike-like tail. It visits the Chesapeake Bay’s sandy beaches each spring and summer to spawn.
Hydrilla is an invasive bay grass that grows in freshwater portions of the Chesapeake Bay and most of its tributaries.
The inshore lizardfish has an elongated body, pointed snout and large mouth with sharp teeth. It can be found in the Bay as far north as Annapolis in the west and the Chester River in the east.
Jellyfish are floating animals with gelatinous, umbrella-shaped bells and stinging tentacles.
Joe-Pye weed is a native perennial plant with feathery, pinkish-purple flowers that bloom in mid- to late summer.
Knobbed whelks are marine gastropods that live in tidal estuaries along the Atlantic coast. Their spiral shells can range in color from grayish white to tan.
Also known as the green bass, the largemouth bass has a lower jaw that extends well past its eye and is considered one of the most popular sport fishes in the United States.
Laughing gulls are medium-sized gulls with white underparts and a gray back. They visit the Chesapeake Bay in the summer to breed.
The least bittern, the smallest heron found in the Americas, lives in marshes among thick vegetation. This bird visits the Chesapeake region in warmer months to breed and raise young.
In the spring and summer, the least tern can be identified by its black crown and nape, which contrast with its white forehead.
The lined seahorse is a unique fish with a curled tail and horse-like head. It lives among bay grasses in the shallow waters of the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
Little Brown Bat
The little brown bat is a small, mostly nocturnal flying mammal with long, brownish fur. It lives in buildings, trees, caves and similar areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The loblolly pine is a tall evergreen tree with long, thin needles and scaly bark. It grows along the edges of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers and wetlands.
The loggerhead turtle is the largest hard-shelled sea turtle, with a heart-shaped, reddish brown shell. It can be found in the Chesapeake Bay from May to November.
Once known as the oldsquaw, the long-tailed duck is a medium-sized diving duck with a short bill and heavy body, whose shape and structure are well-suited to diving deep into the water for food. Males possess two long and slender tail feathers, which give the species its common name.
The long-tailed shrew is a mid-sized shrew with a slender body and long tail. It lives in cool, rocky, forested areas and can be found year-round in the Appalachian Mountains.
The longnose gar is a primitive-looking fish with a long, spotted body and a slender, beak-like snout. It lives in quiet, fresh- and brackish-water tributaries throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The lookdown is a silvery, flat-bodied fish that visits the lower to middle Chesapeake Bay in summer and autumn.
Lumpfish are saltwater fish, generally living in the North Atlantic but occasionally coming as far south as the Chesapeake Bay. They have a skin-covered fin that gives them a high crest on their backs, and they have three rows of bony protrusions on their sides.
Mackerel are fast-swimming fish with elongated, bluish or greenish bodies. They visit the Chesapeake Bay from spring through autumn while migrating along the Atlantic coast.
Macoma clams are tiny bivalves with thin, chalky white shells. They live buried in the sand or mud in the shallow waters of the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
The mallard is an extremely common dabbling duck that is easily identified by its iridescent green head and white neck ring. It lives year-round on shallow waters such as lakes, rivers and marshes throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The mantis shrimp is a crustacean with a flattened, segmented body and praying mantis-like claws. It burrows within muddy flats along the shoreline of the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
The marsh crab is a small shore crab that lives in salt and brackish marshes in the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
The marsh periwinkle is a small snail with a thick, spiraling shell. It lives in tidal marshes and wetlands throughout the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
The marsh rabbit is a brownish, medium-sized rabbit. In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, it is only found in the marshes and swamps of southeastern Virginia.
Marsh Rice Rat
The marsh rice rat is a grayish-brown rodent with a long tail. It lives in tidal marshes near the Chesapeake Bay in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
The meadow vole is a small, dark brown rodent that is common in grassy marshes throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
The monarch butterfly is known for its bright orange and black wings, which signal to potential predators that the species is poisonous.
Morrow’s honeysuckle is an invasive deciduous shrub with white, tube-shaped flowers and small, bright red and orange berries. It can be found throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Also known as the mud minnow, the mummichog is a minnow-like killifish found along muddy marshes, tidal creeks and the sheltered shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
The muskrat is a semi-aquatic mammal with brownish fur and a long, rudder-like tail. It is found in marshes and other shallow-water areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The mute swan is a large, white bird that lives on shallow waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. It is an invasive species.
Naiads are bay grasses with short, narrow leaves along slender, branching stems. They grow in non-tidal fresh waters and fresh and brackish tidal portions of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
Northeastern Beach Tiger Beetle
Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis
The northeastern beach tiger beetle is a tiny, sand-colored beetle that lives on sandy beaches throughout the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
The northern bobwhite is a small, rounded bird that lives in patchworks areas of fields, forests and cropland.
The northern cardinal is a small, red songbird that lives in gardens, backyards and wooded areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Also known as the hen harrier or marsh hawk, the northern harrier can be found in Chesapeake Bay marshes during winter, flying low to hunt for prey.
Also known as the American pike or northern pickerel, the northern pike’s range extends farther than that of any other freshwater gamefish.
The northern pintail is a dabbling duck with long, pointed tail feathers. It visits fresh and brackish tidalmarshes and rivers throughout the Chesapeake Bay region from autumn through spring.
The northern puffer is a club-shaped fish that puffs up into a ball in self-defense. It visits the deep flats of the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay from spring through autumn.
Northern Red Salamander
Pseudotriton ruber ruber
The northern red salamander is a small, reddish amphibian with black, irregularly shaped spots covering its back. It lives in cool freshwater streams and adjacent wooded areas throughout most of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Northern Sea Robin
The northern sea robin is an unusual-looking fish with a mottled body, wing-like fins and a flat, bony head. It visits the deep waters of the lower Chesapeake Bay from spring through early winter.
Also known as the spoonbill, the northern shoveler is a medium-sized dabbling duck with a distinctive shovel- or spoon-shaped bill, which it uses to separate particles of food from the water.
The northern snakehead is a large, long fish with a mottled, snake-like pattern. It lives in the Potomac River and its local creeks and streams. It is an invasive species.
Northern Spring Peeper
Pseudacris crucifer crucifer
The northern spring peeper is a tiny, brownish tree frog with a distinctive X-shaped cross on its back. It lives in marshy woods and near ponds and swamps throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Its “peeping” call is one of the first signs of spring in the region.
The northern stargazer is a strange-looking fish with a speckled, flattened body and a large head. It lives at the bottom of the lower Chesapeake Bay’s deep, open waters.
Northern Water Snake
Nerodia sipedon sipedon
The northern water snake is a non-venomous aquatic snake that lives in lakes, swamps, streams and other waterways throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Nutria are large, brown, semi-aquatic rodents that live in marshes and wetlands on the Delmarva Peninsula and other parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They are an invasive species.
Also known as the fish hawk, the osprey is a large raptor with distinctive brown and white patterning. It visits the Chesapeake Bay's tidal waters, including its shorelines, rivers and marshes, from spring through late summer.
The oyster toadfish is an ugly fish that lives year-round in oyster reefs and other shallow parts of the Chesapeake Bay.
The paw paw is a small, deciduous tree with large, long leaves and distinctive green, mango-like fruits. It grows in rich, moist forested areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Phragmites is a non-native, invasive perennial plant that grows in wetlands and along roadsides and shorelines throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Pipefish are small, skinny fish found among bay grass beds throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
Prickly pear is a native perennial cactus with large, showy yellow flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer.
The pumpkinseed is a bright, beautiful sunfish with a saucer-shaped body that is mottled orange, blue and green. It lives in freshwater lakes, ponds and streams throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Purple coneflower is a native perennial plant with large, lavender flowers that bloom in early summer.
Purple loosestrife is an invasive perennial plant with spikes of bright purple flowers that bloom in mid- to late summer.
The raccoon is a grayish mammal with a distinctive long, ringed tail and black “mask” over its eyes. It lives in nearly every part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, from cities and suburbs to swamps and marshes.
Farancia erytrogramma erytrogramma
The rainbow snake is a beautifully colored, non-venomous snake that lives in streams, swamps and marshes in southern Maryland and eastern Virginia.
Rainbow trout are common and widespread, in the U.S and across the world. U.S. Federal government, however, recognizes certain local populations of rainbow trout over their native range to be endangered. Such populations have become endangered due to impacts of river damming and sediment runoff.
Red Beard Sponge
The red beard sponge is a brightly colored sponge with thick, intertwining branches. It lives on rocks, reefs, piers, pilings and other hard surfaces in the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
The red drum is a large, reddish fish with at least one black spot at the base of the tail. It visits the lower Chesapeake Bay from spring through autumn.
The red fox is a small, reddish, dog-like mammal that lives in swamps, forests and farms throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The red maple is a hardy and adaptable deciduous tree common in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and throughout eastern North America.
The red-bellied cooter is an aquatic turtle with a dark, highly domed shell and a distinctive red belly. It can be found basking along the edge of ponds, streams and rivers throughout the Potomac River and in coastal portions of Maryland and Virginia.
The red-breasted merganser is a diving duck with a long, serrated bill and a shaggy crest on the back of the head. It lives along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal creeks and rivers from autumn through spring.
The red-winged blackbird is a black songbird with distinctive red and yellow shoulder patches. It lives in wetlands, marshes and open farm fields throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
The redhead is a medium sized diving duck that visits the Chesapeake Bay during its winter migration to Texas and Mexico.
Redhead grass is a bay grass with flat, oval leaves that wrap around the base of straight, slender stems. It grows in fresh to moderately brackish tidal waters in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
This perennial submerged aquatic grass can be found in slow-flowing waters that are 3 to 7 feet deep. Its buoyant leaves are identifiable by their light-colored center stripe. It produces small, green-brown flowers.
The river otter is a large, brown, weasel-like mammal found along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and lakes, streams, rivers and marshes throughout the Bay watershed.
Rose mallow is a native perennial plant with beautiful white or pink flowers that bloom from mid-summer through early autumn.
Rough Green Snake
Opheodrys aestivus aestivus
The rough green snake is a non-venomous snake with a long, slender, bright green body. It lives in leafy trees and shrubs in thickly vegetated areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
The royal tern is a large seabird with a thick orange bill that can be found along Chesapeake coastal beaches during its breeding season.
The ruby-throated hummingbird is a tiny, iridescent green bird that visits forests, swamps and gardens throughout the Chesapeake Bay region from spring through autumn.
The ruddy duck is a small, chubby diving duck that visits the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers, marshes and freshwater lakes from autumn through spring.
The rusty crayfish is an invasive species that can be found in some rivers and streams in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. It has a spot on either side of its back that is rusty in color.
Sago pondweed is a bay grass with bushy clusters of thread-like leaves that grow alternately along slender, branching stems. It grows in fresh to moderately brackish waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Saltmeadow cordgrass is a native perennial grass with wiry leaves that often form a whorled pattern. It grows in high, irregularly flooded areas of salt and brackish marshes along the Chesapeake Bay.
Also known as the brown shark, the sandbar shark is a stocky shark that visits the grassy shallows of the lower and middle Chesapeake Bay in summer and autumn.