8 Animals That You Might See in the Fall

Fall brings with it a lovely shift in the landscape as the leaves begin to fall from the trees and the air becomes crisp. Many animals use this time to get ready for the next winter. While some build thick garments to stave off the chill, others gather food. You will probably come across a variety of creatures going about their fall activities when you explore the outdoors during this time of year. We’ll look at the universe of animals that may be seen in the US throughout the fall in this article.

1. Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

It’s amazing to learn that monarch butterflies, despite their delicate appearance, can soar up to 10,000 feet. This is especially helpful when they start making lengthy moves.

These butterflies, which are primarily found in open places such as fields, grasslands, and roadside spots throughout most of North America, have particular food sources. Only milkweed plants provide food for the juvenile caterpillars. Conversely, the adults gather nectar from a variety of flowers, such as thistle, milkweed, and aster.

Monarchs travel tremendous distances—up to 3,000 miles—to warmer climes, particularly Central Mexico, when the weather gets cold. They pause along the way to replenish their energy on nectar-producing flowers.

Best Places to See Monarch Butterflies in the Fall

Follow the cold winds that are pushing them southward into Texas to find them.

If you live in Minnesota, you may be able to attract butterflies to your yard by growing plants high in nectar.

As they move near the Pacific coast, inhabitants of California, especially in the central and southern regions, can see them.

Lastly, because Fire Island, New York, is situated along a crucial migration route, it is a prime location for monarch sightings from mid-August to early October.

2. Elk (Cervus canadensis)

You’ll probably get a chance to view the magnificent, massive, native American elk, also known as wapiti, in the fall.

These animals have thick brown fur with hints of crimson. Also, they have a distinctive patch of cream hue next to their tails. Male elks can reach a shoulder height of five feet and weigh between seven hundred and one thousand pounds.

These animals can be found in meadows, open plains, and isolated valleys, but they usually favor wooded regions and their boundaries, especially in mountainous environments. Elks, however, typically stay away from severely hot or cold areas, such as deserts and the tundra.

As plant-eating animals, elks mostly consume grass, although they will also nibble on leaves, shrubs, and tiny twigs.

The rut, also referred to as mating season, occurs in the fall. Male elks use their bugling cries to attempt to woo females during this time. For their annual mating rituals, they also relocate from higher altitudes to lower meadows at this time. Elk males fight for the right to mate with a group of females. And the busiest time of year for this high-stakes period is mid-September to mid-October.

Best Places to See Elks in the Fall

Elks are active in lower-elevation meadows during mating season in Yellowstone National Park, and autumn is a terrific time to watch them.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: You can still see elks engaging in fall mating behaviors here, despite their recent reintroduction.

National Elk Refuge: Elks migrate to this refuge in November and December as the fall gives way to winter, making it the ideal time to see them.

3. North American Beaver (Castor canadensis)

Seeing the North American beaver is an amazing experience, particularly when the leaves begin to change color in the United States.

These beavers have robust frames and a range of fur colors, from practically black to yellowish-brown. Their enormous, constantly expanding orange teeth and their wide, flat, scale-covered tails are two of their most distinctive characteristics. They are about one foot tall and three to four feet long.

These animals are mostly found in marshy areas across a large part of North America. They are well-known for the ponds they generate by building dams, and they reside close to rivers, lakes, and streams. Beavers in North America eat only plants; they mostly consume the inner layers of bark, tiny branches, fresh growth, and leaves from trees such as poplars, aspens, and willows.

Fall is the busiest time of year for beavers as they prepare for winter. They construct and repair dams, frequently motivated by the sound of water flowing. They gather and store tree limbs underwater in the late fall, storing them for their winter food supply. For them, this submerged food supply is essential, especially during periods when freezing conditions make it difficult to access other food sources.

Best Spots to See Beavers in the Fall

Beavers are frequently seen at several water sources in the Lolo National Forest, which is close to Missoula.

Maine: Beavers are frequently spotted in Acadia National Park, especially in the morning and evening hours when they are close to the freshwater lakes, in the Sieur de Monts area, or when strolling along the carriage paths.

4. Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

With their brilliant yellow beaks and legs, dark brown wings and body, and white tails and heads, adult bald eagles are easily identifiable. The younger ones have spots of white on their body and wings, and brown heads and tails. These eagles typically have lengths of 28 to 40 inches and wingspan lengths of 6 to 7.5 feet.

These birds like to hang out around fish-rich bodies of water that are encircled by trees. They are frequently seen in the winter months when they are hunting along rivers, reservoirs, and shorelines that haven’t frozen over. Bald eagles can be found close to almost any aquatic habitat throughout their travels.

Bald eagles are known to consume dead animals or even steal other kinds of prey, though their primary diet is fish.

Bald eagles from the northern U.S. and Canada begin migrating southward when fall brings milder weather. As the waters in their typical territory start to freeze, they search for locations where they can find fish during this winter.

Best Spots to See Bald Eagles in the Fall

Conowingo Dam in Maryland is a popular area on the East Coast to see eagles, particularly in the winter months.

Bald eagles nest in East Texas and along the coastline from Houston to Rockport, and are frequently spotted there from October through July.

Furthermore, it’s highly encouraged to go eagle watching in places like Florida, Alaska, and Minnesota, especially during their fall migration season.

5. Moose (Alces alces)

Moose have small ears, a short tail, and extended heads with large noses and lips. Additionally, they have a skin flap that hangs from their necks called a dewlap. Aside from having broad, flat antlers that can reach up to five feet in length, male moose have muscular shoulders that give them a hunched appearance.

Moose are large, furry animals that live best in colder climates because of this. They are frequently located next to streams and ponds in forested settings. All that they eat is plant material.

In the United States, fall marks the beginning of the moose mating season, or “rut,” making it an ideal time to see them. In order to attract females, male moose urinate in shallow trenches dug in the ground and scrape trees to remove the soft covering from their antlers. These actions take place between late September and mid-October.

Best Spots to See Moose in the Fall

Maine: There are a lot of excellent places to see moose, including the Western Lakes, Kennebec Valley, Maine Highlands, and Aroostook County.

Isle Royale, Michigan: Only accessible by seaplane, private boat, or ferry, this island provides a safe haven for moose.

Known as “Moose Alley” in New Hampshire and the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts, northern New Hampshire and Massachusetts are also great places to see moose.

6. White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

White-tailed deer have brown or tan summer coats that change to a grayish color in the winter. They acquire their name from the white patterns that are evident on their belly, face, throats, and bottoms of their tails. Antlers are present on males of this species, and they typically stand 2.5 to 3 feet tall at the shoulder.

Both the continental United States and a large portion of southern Canada are home to these deer. Although they prefer open forests, white-tailed deer can also be found in rural and urban areas. These are plant-eating creatures that graze on a variety of leaves.

For white-tailed deer, fall and winter are difficult times of year. Their main priorities are to stay away from hunters and get enough food to last them through the chilly months ahead.

Best Spots to See White-tailed Deer in the Fall

New York: Due to its substantial white-tailed deer population, the state is a popular autumn viewing destination for both residents and visitors.

Eastern and Southern Farm Regions: These are prime locations to see white-tailed deer.

Texas: With more than 1.6 million acres of public property available for wildlife viewing, the state is notable for its abundance of white-tailed deer.

7. Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis)

Do you want to include a unique bird on your list of fall birds to observe? The reward might be the Connecticut warbler. This bird is subtle but endearing, with an olive-green back, a yellow underbelly, and a gray face. It can be identified by its wide bill and the ring of bright hue surrounding its eye. Rather of taking to the air to search for food, they typically walk on the ground while hidden in thick vegetation.

The damp forests next to bogs and meadows are their favorite hangouts. Although they primarily consume bugs, they will occasionally devour snails and spiders. They may even be seen nibbling on berries or seeds.

In the Eastern States, this warbler is a treasure. This bird migrates south to Florida in the fall before moving on to tropical regions. Some of them set out on their voyage as early as mid-July, but you may still spot stragglers until mid-October.

Your best chance of seeing one during its fall migration is in the Northeastern United States. Before their major flight to South America, they make quick stops here to refuel.

Best Spots to See Connecticut Warbler in the Fall

Fall sightings have been reported by seasoned birdwatchers in Southern New England.

Northeast Coast: Although they’re normally seen a little further inland, you might be lucky enough to see them in places like Plum Island in Massachusetts or Cape May in New Jersey.

Weed-filled fields: Starting in mid-September, your best chance of seeing this rare bird is to search overgrown fields, particularly ones with a lot of ragweed.

8. Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

This fall, if you’re hoping to see some amazing wildlife, you won’t want to miss the humpback whale.

These enormous animals have a white underside, a tail, and lengthy flippers that contrast with their black bodies. They have a reputation for being gregarious and frequently create a splash by slapping their tails and fins on the water. When fully developed, they can grow up to 60 feet in length.

These amazing animals can be found in a variety of oceans, from the warm tropical waters to the frigid polar waters. They consume flesh, primarily krill and schools of tiny fish.

Before heading to warmer waters for the winter, humpback whales concentrate on consuming as much food as they can as fall approaches, particularly in North America.

Best Spots to See Humpback Whales in the Fall

The Outer Banks of North Carolina: In the fall, humpback whales can be seen, especially around Cape Lookout.

Along the Massachusetts coast: Fall is an excellent time to observe whales because they can be seen from March through November.

Whale fans should make time to visit Barnstable, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, particularly in the spring and fall.

Overview of the Animals That You Might See in the Fall

Number Animal Scientific Name
1 Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus
2 Elk Cervus canadensis
3 North American Beaver Castor canadensis
4 Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
5 Moose Alces alces
6 White-Tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus
7 Connecticut Warbler Oporornis agilis
8 Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae