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.
Also known as longleaf pondweed, American pondweed is a rooted, perennial herb that has both submerged and floating leaves.
Arrow arum is a native perennial plant with large, arrowhead-shaped leaves. It grows in shallow, tidal fresh waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
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.
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.
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.
Blazing star is a native perennial plant with clumps of feathery purple or white flowers that bloom in summer.
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 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.
Cardinal flower is a native perennial plant with small, red, tubular flowers that bloom in late summer.
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 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.
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.
Dutchman’s breeches are native perennials with white flowers that look like tiny pantaloons. They can be found in woodlands throughout the watershed.
Eastern Black Rail
Laterallus jamaicensis jamaicensis
The eastern black rail is a small, secretive marsh bird. It is approximately the size of a sparrow with black, white-spotted feathers and red eyes.
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.
Fiddler crabs are small crustaceans with a distinctive enlarged claw. They live on beaches, mud flats and marshes 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.
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 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.
Joe-Pye weed is a native perennial plant with feathery, pinkish-purple flowers that bloom in mid- to late summer.
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.
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 marbled salamander is black with silvery crossbands along its body. It is found throughout the southern portion of the Chesapeake Bay region.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Phragmites is a non-native, invasive perennial plant that grows in wetlands and along roadsides and shorelines throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
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.
The red fox is a small, reddish, dog-like mammal that lives in swamps, forests and farms throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
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.
Rose mallow is a native perennial plant with beautiful white or pink flowers that bloom from mid-summer through early autumn.
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.
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.
Seaside goldenrod is a native perennial plant with large, golden yellow flower clusters that bloom in late summer and autumn.
The shadbush is a small, deciduous tree with white flower clusters that bloom in early spring. It grows in wet areas such as swamps and forested wetlands throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, mostly in the coastal plain.
The sika deer is a small, brown elk that lives in quiet marshes and forested wetlands on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Smooth cordgrass is a native perennial grass with flat, blade-like leaves. It grows in low-lying, salt and brackish tidal marshes along the shores of the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.
The snow goose is a plump, white bird that visits the Chesapeake Bay region in winter.
The snowy egret is a medium-sized white heron with a slender black bill and distinctive yellow feet. It visits the Chesapeake Bay’s marshes, wetlands and shallow waters from spring through autumn.
Southern Leopard Frog
The southern leopard frog is a medium-sized frog with spots on its back, sides and legs. Its leopard-like appearance was the inspiration for its name. It lives in wetland habitats in and can be found near the Chesapeake Bay in eastern Virginia, Maryland and southeastern Pennsylvania.
The spotted turtle is a small semi-aquatic species known for the bright yellow spots that dot its dark shell. The species is listed as threatened in several states and endangered on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) Red List of Threatened Species.
The sweetbay magnolia is a small, semi-evergreen tree with large, creamy white flowers that bloom in early summer. It grows in forested swamps and wetlands throughout most of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Virginia opossum is a gray, heavyset mammal found throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Virginia rail is a small bird with a pig-like grunting call that can be found in the fresh and brackish marshes of the Chesapeake region year-round.
The white-tailed deer is a brownish, medium-sized deer that is found in forests, farms, parks and backyards throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Wild rice is a native annual grass with feathery flowers on top of a tall, round stem. It grows in freshwater marshes throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
The willet is a large, grayish-brown sandpiper with a distinctive black and white wing pattern. It lives in the Chesapeake Bay’s salt marshes and on tidal flats from spring through autumn.
The wood duck is a beautifully colored dabbling duck with an iridescent green head, red eyes and white stripes on the head and body. It lives in the Chesapeake Bay region’s freshwater wetlands and streams from spring through autumn.