Common Wildlife in the Scottish Highlands

The particular area of Britain happens to be one of its wildest. There is a very diverse range of species including animals, plants and birds; some of them actually being some of the rarest in Britain. The area itself includes many parks and centres that have rangers and guided walks so you can fully appreciate the diversity of the wildlife the area has to offer.

The Scottish Highlands is home to many land animals, aquatic creatures and birds. Too many to describe in full here. We shall however describe some of the more elusive and interesting animals from each group so you can have an idea of what is on offer.

First, the land animals:

The adder is a poisonous snake found in Scotland. It happens to be the only poisonous snake found here and it isn't very dangerous unless provoked. They are somewhat difficult to find and tend to avoid humans. The snake is typically identified by a dark zigzag on their backs. The females can be identified as they are generally longer in length, have a duller colour and intimidating orange eyes. The snake can be seen on and around large bricks, stones and boulders. They are also known to be seen in moor land during the summer months.

Red Deer
The Red Deer is maybe the most famous Scottish land animal. It is the largest animal and the most common too. It is estimated that there are around 300 thousand Red Deer in Scotland to date, the majority of which can be found in the Scottish Highlands. The male and females of the animal spend the majority of their time in separate herds, but they do come together during the breeding season with the calves being born in June.

Red Squirrel
This is Scotland's most recognised and most popular animals. Unfortunately, they are becoming overrun by the grey squirrel and this has resulted in fewer numbers of red squirrels. Regardless of this, the Scottish Highlands are still thriving with red squirrels but they can be quite difficult to spot. The best way to arrange a Red Squirrel encounter is of course trying to tempt them with food such as nuts and berries.

Secondly, we shall now cover the aquatic animals of the Scottish Highlands.

Bottlenose Dolphins
Although you can find bottlenose dolphins around the whole of Scotland, the colony at Moray Firth happens to be the most famous. This beautiful animal can be spotting swimming and jumping around in the sea throughout the summer months. A beautiful and amazing site for anyone to see!

Killer Whales / Orcas
Killer Whales or Orcas are they are known are one of the fastest and best predators in the ocean. They also happen to be one of the most common mammals on Earth. Male Orcas can grow to about 7 to 8metres in length and weigh over 5 thousand kg. The distinct colouration of the Orcas (the contrast of the black versus the white) and the sheer size of the animal is an amazing site to see.

Basking Shark
The Basking Shark is an amazingly huge animal, one of the largest in the world. It happens to be the second largest fish known to man, weighing up to 7 tonnes and reaching up to an incredible 11 metres in length. The animal is usually seen swimming close to surface with just its fin breaking the water, as the animal glides around catching plankton in its huge mouth.
Lastly, we shall now describe a few of the many varieties of bird to be found in the Scottish Highlands.

Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is an impressive bird of prey that can be found in the Scottish Highlands. This bird of prey tends to inhabit mountains and high moor land associated with the Scottish Highlands. The beautiful bird with its broad wings and long time is a beautiful and elegant animal that can be seen soaring and gliding around on air currents in the sky.

The Puffin is another beautiful bird that happens to be very unique. It has a black back, white underside, orange legs and very distinct and unusual brightly-colour break. The Puffin can be seen in the spring when the bird comes ashore to breed. Unfortunately the animal spends the winter far out in see. Grab the opportunity to see this bird when you can!

The Kingfisher is another beautiful yet strangely coloured bird that can be found in-land as opposed to the coastal area of the Scottish Highlands. Its unmistakeable bright blue and orange feathers make this bird very original and a beautiful site to see. They fly very fast over water as low as possible in the hope of catching jumping fish. They can also be seen hovering above the water.

There really is a huge and diverse variety of species to be found in Scotland, although unfortunately this isn't always recognised by some. Forget the kilts, the haggis and the bagpipes... just look at the wildlife!
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