Amazing Wildlife

Alphabet of North American Animals

There’s a whole alphabet of animals out there in nature for you to discover!

For a recent project, I illustrated North American Animals from A to Z (you can find those illustrations here)! During this project, I reviewed many incredible critters that I studied while earning my degree in Wildlife Biology! I wanted to share more about these cool creatures with you! You may already know and love some of these animals, many of which have wide ranges in North America (and beyond) – like ants, crows, and frogs! Others are small, rare, or hard to spot – and might even be creatures you’ve never seen before! Which ones can you spot in your local habitats?

In this post, you’ll find a little more information about the featured alphabet animals (which you can also learn more about from my Alphabet in Nature Unit)! You’ll also find links to outside websites with more information about each animal! There’s also a free PDF worksheet for younger children or students to do a research project on their favorite animal from this unit!

I created this Alphabet Animals post to go along with one of my latest educational resource packs, the Alphabet in Nature Unit! It comes with flashcards, a poster, and indoor and outdoor activities for practicing the alphabet with an nature-themed twist! You can also find it in my Nature Preschool Bundle! If you haven’t already, be sure to check it out 🙂

How to use this page:

  1. Use the links on this page to learn about the alphabet animals of North America.
  2. Download and print these free animal research project worksheets for your students.
  3. Students can pick their favorite animal from the Alphabet in Nature Unit to learn more about!
  4. Help your student research their favorite animal using the online resources linked below or other resources, such as books from your local library.
  5. Students may use the worksheets to draw and write about what they learned!


Photo by Egor Kamelev on

Ants are common insects! They can be spotted on every continent except Antarctica. They live in colonies where there are workers and a queen! There are many species of ants. These are some of the different types of ants:

  • Leafcutter Ants
  • Fire Ants
  • Carpenter Ants

Check out these websites to learn more about ants!


Photo by Surendra Singh Shekhawat on

Bats are unusual because they’re a mammal but they can fly! Depending on the species of bat, they will eat a variety of foods, such as insects, flower nectar, and fruit! Some common North American bats include:

  • Little brown bats
  • Mexican Free-tailed bats
  • Fruit bats
  • Long-nosed bats

Check out these websites to learn more about bats!


Photo by Pixabay on

Crows are incredibly intelligent birds found world wide. They’ve been observed using tools, and can recognize human faces! Check out these web resources about crows:


Photo by Billel Moula on

Ducks are waterfowl. There are many types of ducks in North America including dabbling ducks and diving ducks. Some common North American ducks are:

  • Mallard
  • Wood ducks
  • Ring-neck ducks
  • Teals
  • Wigeons
  • Mexican Duck

Check out these websites to learn more about ducks!


Earthworm photographed in the backyard of Valerie from Wild Earth Lab, in Northern Colorado!

Earthworms are annelids, the phylum of segmented and ring worms. Earthworms are beloved for their importance to agriculture. They are decomposers that move nutrients through soil by consuming and digesting waste and decaying matter. They also create large pores as they move through soil, which provide paths for water, gases, and plant roots to move through soil. You can see earthworms come to the surface of the soil to breathe during rainstorms in many habitats. Learn more about earthworms using these websites:


Photo by Steffi Wacker on

Foxes are omnivorous mammals. Grey foxes and kit foxes are found in the southern parts of North America. Red foxes are common in northern parts of North America. Arctic foxes are found near the arctic circle, in Canada and Alaska. Visit these web resources to learn more about foxes!


Photo by Ellie Burgin on

There are many species of geese world wide. Canada geese are commonly found in North America from northern Canada around the arctic circle to the the northern parts of Mexico. Many are migratory, spending their winters in warmer southern climates and their summers in far-north breeding grounds. Learn about Canada geese on these websites!


A red-tailed hawk in the care of a raptor center. Photo by Valerie (Wild Earth Lab) in Northern Colorado

Hawks are raptors, or “birds of prey”. They are carnivores and top predators found across a wide range of habitats. Here are some of the different types of hawks found in North America:

  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Ferguson Hawk
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk

Check out these websites to learn more about hawks!


Caterpillars devour a green leaf
Inchworms devour leaves in West Virginia, photo by Valerie from Wild Earth Lab.

Inchworms or cankerworms are the larval stage of the geometer moth. They are known and named for the way they move, inching forward with the front of their body then their rear. Inchworms undergo complete metamorphosis, in which they have a pupa stage before becoming adult moths. Learn more about inchworms and geometer moths here:


Photo by Oday Hazeem on

There are many species of jellyfish found in multiple oceans and seas. There is also one unique species of freshwater jellyfish in North America. Jellyfish are not really fish at all! They are invertebrates in the phylum Cnidaria. There are different types of jellyfish found off the coast of North America:

  • Moon Jelly
  • Lion’s Mane Jelly
  • Bay Nettle
  • Portuguese Man-of-War

Check out these websites to learn more about jellyfish!


Photo by Frank Cone on

Kingfishers are small birds that can be spotted near estuaries, wetlands, lakes, and other bodies of water. There are a few species of kingfishers found in North America, including:

  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Great Kiskadee
  • Green Kingfisher
  • Ringed Kingfisher

Check out these websites to learn more about bats!

Lady Beetle

Photo by Skyler Ewing on

Lady beetles, also known as ladybugs, are not really bugs! Bugs are a specific type of insects that belong to the order Hemiptera, like box elder bugs and leaf hoppers. Lady beetles belong to the beetle order of insects, Coleoptera. Amusingly, while ladybugs are not bugs themselves, they do eat bugs – one of their favorite foods is aphids, a member of the order Hemiptera (true bugs). Learn more about lady beetles using the links below:


A sketch of a fathead minnow by Valerie from Wild Earth Lab

Minnow is a general term for many different species of small freshwater fish including chubs, shiners, and daces. Minnows provide an important food source for larger fish species higher up on the food chain and for waterfowl. Check out these websites to learn more about minnows!


Eastern spotted newt photographed by Valerie (Wild Earth Lab) in the eastern United States along the Appalachian Trail.

Newts are amphibians and a type of salamander. It’s never a good idea to pick up a newt because they have very delicate and absorbent skin – chemicals and oils on our hands can be very harmful to them! They come in many different colors – from green, to brown, to bright orange. Learn about newts on these websites:


Photo by Flickr on

Otters are mammals that love the water! River otters live in freshwater, and sea otters live along coasts. Learn more about otters on these websites:

Preying Mantis

Preying mantis photo in Northern Colorado by Valerie (Wild Earth Lab)

Preying mantises are insects that are voracious predators of other insects! Gardeners love them because they help keep away pesky crop-eating insects such as grasshoppers. Learn more about preying mantises on these websites:


Photo by Brett Sayles on

Quail are small game birds found in a variety of habitats. There are several different types of quail, such as:

  • California quail
  • Scaled quail
  • Montezuma quail
  • Bobwhite quail

Learn more about quail:


Photo by Pixabay on

Rabbits are common herbivorous mammals in the lagomorph order, which also includes hares and pika. They are sometimes mistaken as rodents. Humans have domesticated rabbits and they are beloved pets. Learn more about wild rabbits with these internet resources:


Photo by Laura Reed on

Snails are common shelled gastropods found world wide! They live on land and in water. Check out these websites about snails:


A box turtle hiding in its shell by Valerie (Wild Earth Lab), along the Appalachian Trail in the eastern United States.

Turtles are common shelled reptiles found world wide! They are found in many types of habitats, including ponds, salt water, islands, and even the desert! There are many species of turtles. Some common North American turtles include:

  • box turtles
  • sea turtles
  • snapping turtles

Check out these websites to learn more about turtles!


Photo by Ish Sookun on

Sea urchins are found in salt water. If you live near a coast, you may spot them in tide pools! Although they might not seem like it, sea urchins are in fact animals, belonging to the phylum Echinodermata. Learn about sea urchins here:


Photo by DSD on

Voles are rodents, like mice and rats. They are prey for a variety of predators, such as hawks, owls, and foxes. Check out these websites to learn more about voles!

Water Strider

Photo by Tanguy Sauvin on

Water striders are amazing insects that harness the power of surface tension to walk across water. They are common insects that can be seen at many lakes, ponds, wetlands, and even in the slow-flowing pools and eddies of streams and rivers. Learn more about water striders:


A sketch of a xeme (sabrine’s gull) by Valerie at Wild Earth Lab

Xemes, also called Sabrine’s gulls, are a migratory gulls. In the summer, they are found in their summer breeding range near the arctic circle in northern Canada and Alaska. They may be seen passing through off the west coasts of Canada and the United States as they make the long journey to their winter range in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America. Check out these websites to learn more about xemes!

Yellow Jacket

Photo by Pixabay on

Yellow jackets are a common type of wasp. They are omnivores and feed on a variety of foods including other insects and flower nectar. They can be pollinators – animals which move pollen between flowers, transferring plants’ genetic material which allows for the production of seeds and new plants. Learn more about yellow jackets:

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Photo by Erik Karits on

Zebra swallowtail butterflies are a butterfly species found in the southeastern part of the United States. They undergo complete metamorphosis like all butterflies and moths. Learn about zebra swallowtail butterflies here:

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